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Barb - Northern BC- Family & Friends

A Mother’s Story

My son chose to have a below knee amputation and I wish to share my thoughts and feelings as a parent.

My name is Barb and my son is Kevin and at 8:35 am, Sept 6th 2005, at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver BC, my son’s leg was taken off below the knee. How did I feel? The first word that comes to mind is numb. Through all the preparation of researching, discussing the procedure, and many family talks, I can truly say that nothing prepares you as a parent to witness your child loosing a limb.

My stomach turned as I waited for my first sight of Kevin coming out of recovery. The doors opened and there he was, I tried to stare into his eyes to let him know I was there for him, but like a magnet, my eyes were being pulled against my will to that empty flat sheet where the bottom part of his leg once was. I bolted, I couldn’t breathe, I had to find fresh air and compose myself so I could be a support to help Kevin deal with this traumatic experience.

That fateful day was eleven months ago, and I am happy to say that I did find the strength to get through it. Once I got past the first look at Kevin’s stump, my motherly instinct kicked in, and my main priority was to help him get better. At times guilt would hit me, how could I have been so selfish to react the way I did, it wasn’t my leg that was being amputated! It amazes me how roles reverse and my son was my strength as he guided me through each step of the process after amputation.

Has it been easy? No! Was it worth it? Yes! Kevin didn’t really have any quality of life before the amputation, he had been in a tragic accident two years before, which left him an incomplete paraplegic, and infection had ravaged his body.

Today Kevin walks around without any aid, some days are better than other, but we all have good and bad days. I am so proud of him! We all have role models in life, someone whom we admire and look up to, and that someone is my son, Kevin. He never ceases to amaze me, he walked in the 10 Km walk for MS raising over two thousand dollars, and also was one of four amputees who walked in this years Vancouver Sun Run with over 50,000 people.

I hope I have been able to assist some of the parents that have to face this with their child, it isn’t the easiest decision, but in our case it has been the best! Please feel free to contact me.

Barb
bertbarb@shaw.ca

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