An Injury Motivated Me to Search for Solutions
My name is Beth Shaver, and I am 28 years old. In 2011, at the age of 23, I severely injured my ankle in a soccer game requiring four surgeries over the course of two years. Due to complications from the surgeries, I was left with severe pain limiting my functional ability, walking was even difficult. Faced with the possibility of never running again and living without pain, I traveled through the country in search of possible solutions. I even considered elective amputation.
The ExoSym Limb Salvage Device
In 2013, I was extremely fortunate to find the ExoSym (IDEO) limb salvage device through the Hanger Clinic in Gig Harbor, WA - a new technology allowing those with severe lower leg injuries & conditions to stand and walk/run again without pain. The ExoSym is a hybrid prosthetic/orthotic design that uses a dynamic energy storing strut system to provide injury specific deflection and power, all while maintaining control and minimizing pain.
In November 2013, I became the second civilian and first female civilian to receive the ExoSym (IDEO) device, and it changed my life. After receiving the ExoSym, I felt like I had been given a second chance and I decided I wanted to pay it forward. So at the beginning of 2015, I began a fashion & inspirational blog for women who wear the device (called ExoSymplyAmazing) so that I could help patients see that fashion is still possible, and to remind them of the beauty in their strength and all that they’ve overcome.
Acceptance Is Key to Moving Forward
After a devastating injury / illness, it can be easy to shut yourself away and not want to talk about it. When I was injured, I felt like this initially but when I received the ExoSym, I gradually became more open with my family and my friends and I feel this support was extremely important. Acceptance is an important step in helping you move forward. It is my hope that this blog will help ExoSym patients with their “acceptance journey” and inspire them to find the beauty in their strength and dare to be ExoSymplyAmazing.
Every Patient Has A Special Story to Share
As the blog continued, I decided to focus more on writing stories about patients (men & women alike!) who have received the device. While I still offer style advice & inspiration, it is my mission to showcase more of these special features on patients & their accomplishments because each one of them has a special story to share. I want people to know that anything is possible and to keep believing in themselves!
Since receiving the device in Nov 2013, I have worked really hard to rebuild my strength and am continuing to make progress - running, cycling, adventure racing - living life fully! I am blessed every day for how the ExoSym has changed my life. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when in December 2016, I was hit by a car in an automobile accident, sustaining head and back injuries. Because of this, I had to take some time away from the blog to focus on my recovery. Thankfully, after seven and half months of therapy, I am back on course doing what I love – living ExoSymplyAmazing, once again! In life, we have two choices: we can give up, or we can go on. I hope that no matter what challenges you face, you always choose to go on. ♥
To find the blog, go to: http://www.exosymplyamazing.com
To read more about the ExoSym device, go to: http://www.hangerclinic.com/bracing-support/adult-le/Pages/Limb-Salvage-ExoSym.aspx
#nevergiveup #beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAMAZING