Saying NO to the Status Quo
Losing a limb is not easy. It is also not a life sentence. These four amputees are proof that losing one, two, three, or four limbs can be something to grow from. All of the people on this list are athletes, activists, and people who have done amazing things with their lives. There were hardships, whether that be themselves or others doubting their abilities, but each one rose above. Through their stories, you will see that anything that is possible with four limbs is also possible with less.
Tom Whittaker lost his leg in a car accident in his 20s, but that has never stopped him from looking up. Despite the doubts of many people who were afraid that he wasn’t fit to climb or that he would be putting the rest of his companions in danger, Whittaker made it to the top of Everest. And, he was the first amputee to do so. However, despite the impressiveness of this feat, reaching the top was not the reason Whittaker laced his boots. Instead, what was most important to him was that he was changing people’s perceptions of disability. Rather than seeing it as something that limited people, Whittaker viewed being an amputee as just another form of diversity.
Losing both of her limbs to bacterial meningitis at just nineteen has never restricted Amy Purdy. Even after the loss of her limbs and a kidney transplant, Purdy was still sure that she was going to continue snowboarding. Even after her first pair of prosthetics were nowhere near advanced enough to allow her to snowboard, she knew that she was not going to give up. Her hard work paid off when she won Bronze in the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. However, Purdy is more than an athlete. She founded Adaptive Action Sports to inspire other amputees and increase awareness for people who have lost a limb.
Kyle Maynard was born with congenital amputation, a very rare condition that results in babies being born without limbs. Maynard only has arms that end at the elbow and legs that end at the knee. This has never stopped him pursuing any of his dreams. His parents and friends always treated him as a normal kid resulting in Maynard being able to fully take care of himself. As an adolescent, he wanted more, and eventually joined the wrestling team. Despite losing every match and wanting to quit after his first year, Maynard didn’t give up. He wrestled all throughout high school and took it a step further to become the first person to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. He is now a public speaker who spends his time encouraging others to pursue their passions despite what could be holding them back.
Becoming an amputee at the age of one, Aimee Mullins has done more amazing things with her life than most people could imagine. Despite being born without shinbones, having both her legs amputated, and being told she would never walk again, Mullins has never given up. She was the first amputee to compete on an NCAA team during her years at Georgetown University and went to the 1996 Paralympics. She also modeled for Alexander McQueen and was amazed when people saw her prosthetics as something far beyond a limitation that she had. She used that as fuel to begin traveling around the country inspiring others.
The most important thing about all of the people mentioned above is that they encourage other amputees to push forward and not let themselves be limited by the loss of their limb. They create organizations and speak at conferences and create hope for anyone who is struggling with a loss of their limb. Not only have these people done amazing things with their lives, they are also changing the lives of others. That is what we here at Click Medical are all about: providing you with adjustability to change your life whether that be the inspiration needed to make it through another day or the adjustability added to your prosthetic that will let you keep on doing what you love to do.
Check out Click Medical’s Facebook page and join us in adjusting to life as an amputee.