Moments That Matter is a collection of stories from members of our limb loss and limb difference community. We asked our community members to think of times they have been scared, joyous, happy, and whatever range of emotions they have experienced during their life, if the moment mattered. This Giving Tuesday we highlight some of these stories. You can donate to support people living with limb loss and limb difference this Giving Tuesday by clicking the link below
“I became an amputee in June of 2020. My surgery went well, and I was excited to go through the prosthetic journey. Along the process I stumbled amongst some setbacks that really devastated my process. Today I still struggle with my setbacks, but I decided to keep pushing to overcome my difficult circumstances.” – Craig Harris of Tennessee on his road to resiliency
“I’m a left leg amputee. I have been cancer free for 39 years and am an amputee model and very ambitious in my career. Each moment in my life I cherish as if was my last, and I’m passionate about spreading the message that life doesn’t have to stop because you’re missing a limb. I’m a motivational speaker, a mother of 3 beautiful daughters and 4 grandchildren.” – Lawrisa Harris of Georgia, a publish author and model
“My story starts in 2013 while vacationing in Hawaii. I was snorkeling in the ocean and aspirated sea water entered into my lungs. I was ok until I made it home a few days later and came down with flu like symptoms. I went to the ER and they also thought I had the flu but within two hours I was on life support on a vent with Dopamine and Levaquin and a broken back from falling from the onset of the illness. , I did not know my back was broke until I came out of a three-month induced coma and had a tracheotomy. I had to re-learn how to walk and talk and to make a much longer story shorter; I had Kyphoplasty surgery on my back and it did not take. Osteomyelitis set in where I went through two failed major back fusions. The third worked after going to the University of Michigan and not a year later I had gain green and Osteomyelitis in my right foot. And within one week I lost my big toe, my foot, and a BK amputation on the 1st of June 2017 and several revisions and infections until Sept 2020. I was scheduled for another revision but went to the ER for pain and redness and was diagnosed with Cellulitis and given an antibiotic then sent home. The next day it was worse so I went back and was admitted and was told again it was Cellulitis and denied CT. It turned out to be Osteomyelitis again but they could not save the BK amputation so I had an AKA amputation. Now several months later, I have a new prosthetic and am having a hard time learning how to walk due to pain and difficulty. I would love to receive insight on how to adjust.”- Matthew Goldi
“I became an amputee at the end of last year, just at the peak of the pandemic. I have been very patient waiting to get the therapy treatment I need, and I feel that I am so far behind. But I, am grateful God has blessed me to be here with so many lives lost. I have learned to be patient and wait on the Lord, he will work it out for you.” Ora Bavon of Texas on the power of faith
“My moment that matters is when I first saw my leg after the surgery. . Those moments were filled with fear, anger, disgust, sadness, loss and so many more terrible self-depreciating thoughts. But the next moments were the ones that matter. The moment where I knew I would overcome this. I knew I would survive (possibly thrive) from this. I knew I would be able to walk down the street with my head held high. I have gone through many road bumps and have many more to go through. [Although I struggle], I keep going back to the moment where I had confidence and the strength knowing I would survive it. Like so many amputees before me have gotten through it and the ones to follow me will get through it. We are all survivors and so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Thank you for listening.” Mike Moriarity of Illinois on the power of looking ahead.