Stephanie Key has been an amputee for about nine years now. Her story began in February when she was headed –
Stephanie Key has been an amputee for about nine years now. Her story began in February when she was headed to pursue her dream of being a Registered Nurse. On her way there, she ran into some snowy weather, hit black ice and ended up in the ditch where she had to be cut out of her car and airlifted to the nearest hospital.
Stephanie managed to stay awake and look past the blood and fear for the whole helicopter ride until she landed at the hospital where she slept for a few days. upon waking, Stephanie learned that she had sustained injuries to both legs, her wrist and also had nearly collapsed lungs and bleeding concerns among other smaller injuries. At her two-week checkup, doctors noticed her white blood count was elevated, and she was once again admitted to the hospital. In the beginning, they couldn’t find the infection, but after being admitted for a few days, multiple test results confirmed it was in her lower right leg. It took multiple surgeries and medications until she was finally cleared of infection.
Once Stephanie completed her two-week post-op exam, she got a phone call advising her to get to the nearest ER as quickly as possible. When she arrived, her test results confirmed the infection had reached her bone. She then had to decide whether to get her leg amputated or not. After talking with other amputees, she had made her mind up and decided to do it.
On July 16, 2010, Stephanie went to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and was admitted for preparation for the amputation. Being only 18, she was ready to live her life and was tired of fighting the pain, but was scared and nervous for what would come. That morning she had her amputation. After the operation, things began to look up for her. Stephanie believes her biggest accomplishment is accepting herself in her own skin. It was hard for her to come to terms with who she was and found herself becoming isolated from others and felt miserable. She now knows there is nothing that she can’t do, and that car wreck was her defining moment. Her newest defining moment is becoming a CAN after nine years of pain, suffering and struggle.
Although she has had to overcome many hurdles in life, her friends now describe her as lively and spirited. Sarah, Stephanie’s friend, would describe her as, “Someone who wouldn’t let a ‘little thing’ like losing a leg keep her from who she’s meant to be in life. Although we may stumble, you can bet it’ll never be for very long.”
In Stephanie’s free time, she likes going on adventures, kayaking, riding four-wheelers, hiking on various trails, spending time spoiling her nieces and nephews and hanging out with friends.
Stephanie heard about Bulow OPS by simply searching on Google. She did multiple comparisons and felt Bulow was best for her and she was right! Stephanie’s advice would be, “Always stay true to yourself. Never allow someone to tell you that you can’t. You can do anything anyone else can do, but sometimes it may look different. Looking different is okay. Never give up when life gets hard, that’s when you push harder. It won’t last forever. Smile through it taking it one step at a time, and one day at a time.”