Life after the Amputation

By Lucky Mohommed

My name is Lucky Mohommed, 28 years old and I am forced to use a wheelchair. I am a husband, a father of two beautiful children and a bilateral both above knees amputee. I was born with a heart problem and in the year 2011, my condition just got worse even though I was still unaware of how bad it was. I remember being very excited for being recognized as a potential soccer player. At that time, a structured future was all I could think of. I had it all planned out on a piece of paper with all the possible careers I could be interested in.

The time I have to enjoy my soccer career as a goalkeeper, my legs started to swell up. It was only then that I began to realize how bad my condition was, seeing that I had to stop my soccer career because of the lack of blood flow to my legs. I couldn’t continue doing whatever I wanted and I tried everything in my power to get well, but there was no difference except for my condition getting worse and worse every minute and every day. However, doctors couldn’t see what was going on with me. I was given epilepsy medical treatment because the doctors thought I was living under a lot of stress that causes nerves not to function properly to have blood circulation through to my legs, not knowing that the problem is my heart till at the latest stage one doctor found the actual cause of my illness.

Life was not easy: No income, best friends disappeared, and most of my family and extended family members watched from a distance. I do remember that a few of my extended family, friends, and people I didn’t know, who pitched in and helped. Things were bad, there was very little hope for survival, and everyone around could just see the amount of stress my mother who was 75yrs old that time was going through, at the same time, dealing with a sickly child, in the middle of a financial crisis.

I remember not being able to move, even a slight movement being a pain so massive. There was literally no part of me that was not painful. I had to be carried everywhere, and this caused massive pain as well, a pain too much for me to bear I took a decision of living like a fish. My legs were burning, I had to put them in ice-cold water every day and night for three months. Every 10 minutes my water was supposed to be changed with colder water. I tried to be strong, but at times, I’d cry. I never used to ask why it had to be me. I felt that asking this would mean I felt someone else deserved to go through the pain. I did, however, ask what I had done for GOD to let me go through so much pain. There were a number of things that would make me cry but I didn’t. At that time, realize my pains had much impact on my life.

30th August 2011 was the day I lost my legs. Amputation was the only choice for me after being told that if I don’t accept to be amputated I am going to die. I spent two weeks in hospital and even celebrated my birthday at the hospital.  While I was in hospital, I spent a lot of time with strengthening exercises and learning how to transfer myself from places like my wheelchair to my bed or the toilet. I remember my Occupational therapist, she was very good at her job, and always pushed me to work hard and strive to improve in therapy. However, I hated life. I never had a pre-counselling, therefore I never knew what to expect after the amputation.

Getting back into the real world was only possible through my faith in God and the wonderful love and support of my Mom, my spiritual father that is my pastor and the people who were there for me. Learning to live without my legs was the most difficult thing I ever had to do in my life. After two weeks being discharged from the hospital, I had counselling sessions once a week, then twice a month till it became a single session in a month. However, the emotional challenges have been the most difficult part of this whole experience. I was unable to do the things that I love, such as playing soccer and running, as I was used to having a nice long afternoon jog. I found myself depressed at times due to the fact that I could no longer engage in such activities.

My occupational therapist introduced disability sports to me even though I was a piece of work as I had anger problem. Sports brought my confidence back. After years of incredible recovery and hard work and unimaginable success, I became over-confident in my healing and mental health. For the last few years, I have spent a lot of my time perfecting my desire to be the person I knew and a better person in life. I wasn’t very productive. Recently, however, I’ve gotten more adventurous and got more exposure and it made me realize that I’m more capable than I previously thought. I’m thankful for the exposure to new things. Instead of all of the many years of talking about the things that I couldn’t do, it’s time for me to say, “I can and I will.” Now I am married, and I have children, living in our own house and I am also working for the third largest company in the world, Ford Motor Company as a Communication Specialist Clerk. I am blessed by God and I believe that God still has great things coming for me. I am living the dream.

God has a reason why this happened to me. My favourite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Whenever I feel discouraged or as though I’m slipping back into a depressive state, this scripture comes to mind and I remember that with the help of the Lord, I really have nothing to worry about.

People ask me on a daily basis how I stay so positive and happy, and I tell them all the same thing: Everyone who knows me knows that I have always been an athlete and consistently active. It has always been at the core of who I am. Losing my legs has obviously turned my world upside down; I don’t know how I could have dealt with this in the past, but now that my perspective has shifted. I have learned that there is always a silver lining. It is my duty to turn this “loss” into a “win,” not just for my loved ones, but for myself.

People around me were very inspired to see that even though my legs were gone, I continued to live the same life I always had. I began telling my story and created a Facebook page (L7lvrboy Production) to share with whomever found value in it. I saw that my contribution helped others who were struggling with their own health, lives and personal situations.

How do I stay so positive? I stay positive because of all of the people who follow me and tell me that I have helped them in some way. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know that my purpose is to help and inspire others. There is nothing more important in life than giving back. I thank God every day for clarifying my purpose. Since I lost my legs I have gained so much more power than ever possible, allowing me to be in service to those in need.

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