A mum-of-five has lost her leg after ankle surgery resulted in her contracting a rare bacterial infection.
Anglie Fowler, 41, stepped out into the snow with her children when she slipped and broke her ankle in 2011.
The operations manager for FedEx Express, from Fort Worth, Texas, underwent several reconstructive surgeries in the space of four years.
However none were successful and she was left with a ‘collapsing’ ankle and was still unable to walk.
During one of her surgeries, in 2015, things got a lot worse when Angie contracted MRSA, which developed into necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection that can become fatal.
Angie was rushed to another hospital where her leg was amputated.
‘They said if they didn’t amputate my leg below the knee, I wouldn’t make it through the weekend,’ Angie said.
The days following her amputation were lonely.
‘When they removed my leg, I was in the hospital alone for a long time, while my partner, John, looked after the kids, as we lived an hour away,’ she added.
‘It was very isolating and I struggled with my mental health. I got really depressed for a few months and thought I would never be able to live a normal life like work out, run, or even keep up with my kids.’
Over the next two years, Angie was in and out of hospital fighting the infection. She had to have a further 46 surgeries on her leg and eventually learned to work with a prosthetic leg.
‘The thing that killed me the most was that I wasn’t able to pick up my babies for years,’ she said.
‘If they got hurt, or one wanted to be held, I had to sit down and have someone bring them to me.’
Angie ‘hated’ the prosthetic leg at first, finding it sore and uncomfortable.
‘I walked with crutches with my prosthetic because my leg was so sore and thought I’d never be able to walk without pain or assistance again,’ she said.
‘I truly thought my life was over.’
Eventually, she decided it was time to stop being ‘bitter and angry’ and start living her life to the fullest instead.
‘I knew I wanted to live and would do whatever it took to stay alive,’ she said.
Now, over a decade on from her initial fall, Angie and her family have settled into her new way of life.
‘My kids have adapted so well and they tell me it doesn’t bother them and they love me regardless,’ she says.
She even runs a TikTok account (@amputeeangie) where she shares her story and life with one leg, with over 8,800 dedicated followers.
In 2020, Angie was hit with another life-changing surprise when she fell pregnant with her fifth child, despite doctors telling her she ‘couldn’t have any more kids’.
She was over the moon and decided to get even fitter, signing up for CrossFit and a 5km race which she will complete with a running blade in her first long-distance run in Boston this April.
While the pregnancy was difficult, Angie pushed through.
‘Everything is different, I have to adapt to a lot of things in my life, but I am more active now than I was before my amputation,’ she said.
‘Daily activities are a struggle, for example, getting in the shower or getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
‘I also still get very bad nerve and phantom pain.
‘Your brain still thinks your leg is there, but I have learned that the small things don’t matter.
‘I am grateful to be alive.’
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