April 13, 2024

Leg amputation: "If you have wings, you don't need two legs"

Leg amputation: “If you have wings, you don’t need two legs”

Living with leg amputation
If you have wings, you don’t need legs!

Christina change

© Andrea Molek

Christina Wechsel, a reader at BRIGITTE.de, lost a leg on her dream voyage around the world. Here she tells us what you’ve gained from it.

It all started with a big dream

My story taught me one thing above all: We can travel all over the world, but in the end we wind up with ourselves. However, I didn’t even begin to realize that when I was in my mid-twenties, I began to fulfill my biggest dream. A dream about a trip around the world. Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada – I wanted to see the world, have experiences and of course have fun.

I had already booked my Around the World ticket when my mother, to whom I was very close, fell ill with cancer and passed away. I literally pulled the rug from under my feet, and stayed with my brother and dad to grieve them.

The accident in remote areas

Less than six months later, I was on the plane to Australia to continue the flight. I knew my mom wanted me to fulfill my big dream. But at the other end of the world, fate struck again.

On the way to Uluru, as indigenous Australians call their sacred mountain, three of my friends and I had a serious accident – in the middle of the remote area. My friend died and I fought for my life in intensive care for weeks. I won this battle, but my left leg had to be amputated. A big shock to anyone who is interested in sports like me. Because my most urgent question wasn’t just: Will I be able to walk again? But: Will I be able to exercise again? What about travel?

The moments of greatest despair were my chance to heal

In the months following the accident, I didn’t just learn to walk with my prostheses. I also felt step-by-step back into my life. At first I was still suffering from despair and helplessness and the question, “Why did all this happen to me from all the people ?!” I learned over time that there is no answer. We cannot influence what happens to us in life. But we do have an effect on how we treat it.

We can travel all over the world, but in the end we wind up with ourselves.

I realized that our possibilities are almost limitless if we follow the path of our heart. So not only did I learn to walk with the prosthesis, but over time I was able to exercise again. She swam across Lake Zurich, climbed a rock, played tennis again and learned to ski on one leg.

Lots of people ask me how I managed to stay positive and fun-loving despite these blows of fate. I think I owe that to a combination of inner strength, spiritual faith, and many wonderful people in my life.

Fate strikes do not mean the end

The most important thing for me is to pass on what I have learned from this time. Today, as an alternate practitioner in my naturopathic practice, I treat and support phantom pain as well. Peak Project. Amputee people help other affected people cope with the difficult situation.

I also share my story and my way back to a new old life with as many people as possible. Each of us can truly be shaken by fate in life. The most important thing is realizing that often the most difficult moments in life are the ones that give us a chance for a comprehensive healing. We must not lose faith in the impossible and must always walk our way.

By the way: My heart’s wish has not been fulfilled to this day. Uluru waits and I can’t wait to finally complete this journey.

Live with a leg amputation: if you have wings, you don't need two legs!

© Harper Collins

The authorChristina Fishel grew up in Canada and Greece before her family moved to Freising, Bavaria. She works as a surrogate practitioner and trainer with her own practice and accompanies other patients with leg amputations on the PiK Project. In her book If you have wings, you don’t need legs – how I survived the worst year of my life and surpassed myself(HarperCollins, € 16) she writes about her life.

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