My Two Legged Journey
Hi, I'm Morgan Stickney (@morgiepoo_16). I am a 21 year old competitive swimmer and a pre-med college student. Six years ago at morning practice my foot began to hurt and we later found out I had chronic sesamoiditis. A surgery was performed to remove the bone, but the pain remained. Another surgery took place to remove the second sesamoid because it had shattered (which is highly unheard of), but still the pain persisted. My surgeon and I decided to do five surgeries in one with hopes that something being done could help with the pain I was suffering from, but unfortunately the surgery not only failed but I developed a major staph infection that we did not catch soon enough. On Halloween of 2017 I flew home from college and had emergency surgery the following day to remove all of my hardware and receive IV antibiotics. At this point I was just thankful I still had my foot. But unfortunately I was in agonizing pain all the time. This pain was beyond crippling, but I still continued to push through my studies in school, but I was still missing my greatest coping mechanism: swimming.
A New Beginning
On May 14, 2018 I had a below the knee amputation that forever changed my life for the better. When my surgeon woke me up from surgery he had told me that my bone was completely dead inside my foot and that was causing a large majority of my pain. Three weeks after my amputation I went back to the operating room because the skin on my leg was turning necrotic. But even throughout the bumps in the road I was immensely blessed to be in an experimental study. Because of the type of amputation I had received, I am now able to connect my mind with prosthetics. And just four months post amputation and only four weeks of practice (after two years off) I swam in my first competitive para meet and qualified for USA Paralympic Emerging Team! Having a positive outlook and surrounding yourself with others that will support you is key. Without my amazing medical team and fellow amputees I would not be where I am today. I'll rise up!