‘It’s not me, it’s you’: Woman, 27, writes break-up letter to her own FOOT after choosing to have it amputated following years of pain caused by horse-riding accident
- Jordan Beckwith of Colorado Springs suffered an accident when she was a teen
- She shattered her ankle and spent a total of 14 years in various degrees of pain
- Several operations aimed to correct the problems, but were all unsuccessful
- Eventually, on October 11, 2018, part of her leg was amputated below the knee
A woman who chose to have her foot amputated after years of pain from a childhood accident wrote a ‘break up’ letter on her skin, saying: ‘It’s time we parted ways’.
Jordan Beckwith, 27, made the life-changing decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgery as a result of the horse-riding fall.
Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, scribbled a note on her limb to say goodbye to her right foot.
Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ‘It’s not me, it’s you. I’m sure we’ve had some good times together, but it’s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.’
She signed off the note: ‘Your blood supplier’.
Brave: Jordan Beckwith, 27 – pictured here after surgery – made the heart-wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgery and pain from the age of 13
Mrs Beckwith, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over-excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005.
‘My horse tripped and I went over her shoulder. I landed on my neck and blacked out for a second,’ she said.
‘When I came to, my ankle was bad, I was in pain. I tried to stand up but I blacked out again.’
She was taken to urgent care where doctors discovered she had broken the tibia bone in her lower leg.
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‘The bottom chunk of the bone had broken. An inch of it had snapped off and was shoved up into my leg,’ she said. ‘It was a very, very odd injury.
‘The doctor called to another doctor and they said they had never seen something like it before.’
She was forced to wait three days before her ankle could be operated on, because it was so swollen.
‘They couldn’t fix it right way,’ she added. ‘It was so swollen that the skin wouldn’t have closed.’
Two months later, an X-ray revealed the surgery had been unsuccessful.
Last leg: She cheekily signed-off the note to her lower leg with ‘Your blood supplier’
Before and after: Mrs Beckwith suffered the life-changing accident when she was a teen (L) and is now an amputee who relies on a prosthesis (R)
Dear John letter: Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ‘It’s not me, it’s you. I’m sure we’ve had some good times together, but it’s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.’
‘The doctor said it hadn’t aligned right. They broke my ankle again and redid the surgery. But it always hurt. I was taking handfuls of Advil to deal with the pain.’
A year later, she underwent an ankle fusion where the bones of her ankle were connected with a steel plate and six screws. However, this also caused problems.
‘It never felt right. All through high school, I was in pain, she said. ‘For the last 14 years, I’ve always been on some kind of pain medication.
‘I have been active but I’m always limping. About 18 months ago, I got to the point that it never got better. There were only bad days.
‘I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t do my job, I couldn’t even take my dogs for a two-minute walk. I couldn’t do jiu jitsu. I was icing my ankle every night. I didn’t want to live like that anymore.’
Last June, Mrs Beckwith visited a surgeon in Denver, Colorado, who told her that she had a choice: a risky ankle replacement or an amputation.
Post-operation: Pictured recovering from the gruelling two-and-a-half-hour surgery
New beginning: Mrs Beckwith’s leg pictured shortly after the lower portion was amputated
Healing process: Here she has her surgery wound cleaned, disinfected and dressed
‘The problem with an ankle replacement is that it is meant for someone much older. The ideal candidate is 60 or older and hasn’t had prior ankle surgery.
‘I initially scheduled the replacement because my family was adamant that we try everything else first because losing a limb is such a big deal.
‘But the more I thought about it, amputation struck me as inevitable. I didn’t want endless surgery. I had to take all the emotion out of the decision.
‘This would give me the highest quality of life. It would help me walk and maybe run, I could participate in sports again.
‘I had many conversations with my family and eventually they understood and supported me.’
On October 11 2018, Jordan’s leg was amputated just below the knee at University of Colorado Hospital.
She said: ‘I looked up every YouTube video and every article I could about being a below-the-knee amputee. I walked into surgery with two legs and I knew I wasn’t going to come out with two legs. It was terrifying.’
When she woke from the operation she was in terrible pain.
United : Jordan Beckwith pictured with her husband Brian, who was been her rock
Finally pain-free: Learning to walk again with the aid of a prosthetic limb and physiotherapy
‘The nerve block hadn’t worked and I felt all of the pain of the foot being gone. It was horrible. It took them three and a half hours to get the pain under control.
‘But the first thing I thought was: I am really glad I made this decision.’
Mrs Beckwith is still adapting to life without her right foot, trying out her new prosthetic leg, using crutches and experiencing uncomfortable stares while grocery shopping.
‘Grown up adults who should know better stare at me for 20 seconds and then whisper to their friends.
‘I feel like saying: “Guys, come on, if you have a question, ask me, or at least be a little less conspicuous.”
‘It is hurtful and it is really weird to be a spectacle everywhere you go. It is a really big loss and I am living through the grief of it. There have been rough moments like when I wonder whether my husband is still attracted to me.’
Humour amid the trauma: She hopes she’ll be able to lace up her sneakers and go for a run
She credited sharing her experiences on her YouTube channel, Footless Jo, with aiding her recovery. ‘My YouTube channel has really helped me process everything.
‘Sharing what I’m going through, gives me strength and makes me feel like I’m helping others.’
She hopes one day she’ll be able to lace up a pair of sneakers and go for a run.
‘I have not been able to run at all since I was 13 years old. I have wanted to run for ever and I’ve been super jealous of people who could.
‘I’ve already looked into getting a running leg. I think a marathon would be super cool. Even just going for a jog down the road would be wonderful.’
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