…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
A 37-year-old woman, Kirsty Stockton, underwent a life-changing experience when she had to undergo a leg amputation below the knee after accidentally stepping on a drawing pin.
After five days, she was urgently admitted to the hospital, where she had to undergo drastic surgery.
She discusses the profound impact of the surgery on her life.
Adapting to a New Reality:
Kirsty bravely opens up about the emotional and psychological struggles she faced after her surgery.
Initially, she experienced low self-esteem and confidence due to the stares she received as a result of her disability.
Accepting her new reality was akin to grieving for her previous life.
She found it extremely difficult to adjust to this unfamiliar world, where she encountered prevalent stigma and discrimination against disabled individuals.
Even after four years, the weight of societal stigma continues to affect her, although she has developed strategies to cope.
In addition to emotional struggles, Kirsty also faced physical challenges.
She experienced phantom pain in her amputated limb and struggled with sleep.
Seeking assistance, she turned to a mental health charity called Evolving Mindset.
Through their program, which included mindfulness exercises, goal-setting, and resilience training, Kirsty was able to sleep better and improve her overall well-being.
She also made positive changes in her lifestyle, adopting a healthier diet and successfully losing 23 kilos.
A New Obstacle: A Brain Tumor Diagnosis:
Unfortunately, Kirsty’s journey took another difficult turn in 2021 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Dealing with this news was easier for her because she had already acquired the necessary tools to cope with adversity.
During the lockdown, she experienced seizures, and it was a hospital in the southern part of the country that identified the presence of the brain tumor.
Despite this new setback, Kirsty maintains a resilient mindset and uses her previous experiences to navigate this latest challenge.
A Shift in Perspective:
Reflecting on her journey, Kirsty likens the entire experience to a bereavement of her previous lifestyle.
Her life has been completely transformed, and she now leads a significantly different existence.
She has gained a newfound appreciation for life, recognizing the fragility of existence and the unpredictability of tomorrow.
This realization has made her more grateful for each day she wakes up, understanding that life’s preciousness should never be taken for granted.
Seeking Light Amidst Darkness:
Kirsty recently participated in Evolving Mindset’s Night to Walk event, joining 45 other individuals.
They embarked on a symbolic 10-mile walk at 4 am, aiming to highlight the message that there is always light at the end of the darkness.
This event serves as a powerful reminder of resilience, hope, and the potential for positive transformation, even in the face of significant challenges.