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Sara is no different to able-bodied people

By June 15, 2015No Comments
Sara at the start of her
safari adventure.

I met Sara on the unforgettable Epic safari tour last month. Read about the amazing experience here.

She has been married to her husband of 14 years, fun loving Andrew and they both decided they wanted to experience an African adventure. To me, Sara is a young spirited, friendly and caring women with a sparkle in her eyes. She reminds me of what a British granny would be like, who loves a good cuppa tea.

Sara described Andrew, as her constant rock and support and the one who has encouraged her to travel. She lovingly told me how without him, her life would not be so adventurous.
Since April 1991 Sara has been right leg amputee. She was experiencing extreme pain in her left leg that led to a hospital trip. After an x-ray was done, blood clots showed up as the reason for the gruelling pain. However even though it was her left leg that was infected with the blood clots, she was soon   booked in for an amputation of her right leg, as that was the leg slowly being poisoned.

She told me that at first she didn’t experience many emotions as she was just happy that the pain was gone, as well as being dosed up on morphine. A couple days after the operation the shock hit her of what she had lost, describing ‘’the shock as horrendous.’’ She had to undergo another further 2 operations because of complications.

I asked Sara how her life changed after the operation, she explained that, ‘’life changed dramatically.’’ Sara was in the hospital for a dreary 11 weeks, apart from regular physiotherapy not much was going on. Her first trip out was also the first time it hit her that she wasn’t going to be able bodied like before. At the festival she described, that people treated her as though she had lost her brain and not her leg. Many times people would speak to her carer instead of her. This understandably made Sara feel frustrated and she admitted a little angry.

Sara and a cheetah.

The day she left hospital she defines as the day she woke up to the fact that life would be totally changed. She was now reliant on other people to take her to places. Her daughter Jo, who had luckily finished University at the time, was able to move in and help her out. Sara says that without her help and love, she would have not got through it.

The love and support from family and friends got her through the emotional time of coming to terms with her limb loss. Sara’s employers also offered her immense support; during her 9 months off of work, her employers kept in touch and visited. Her first day back on the job she was welcomed back to work with pretty flowers and a welcome back banner. She described the staff that she worked with as all very supportive, and tells me how they jokingly told her, that if she wasn’t nice to them they would take away her walking sticks away and abandon her 5 floors up! ‘’They were a load of jokers but it was the best way of dealing with the situation,’’ she positively explained.

She says that she didn’t have to make any special adjustments to her new life. After being back at work for a few months she was promoted and given a company car that had been adapted just for her! Her new job also brought exciting perks of travelling around the UK and Europe.

Sara shares her advice as, ‘’anyone who suffers a similar fate has to accept that life will be different but when one door shut another opens. There are so many opportunities for disabled people to join in these days. Sport can be rewarding and travel is so very easy with all the companies geared up to dealing with disabilities. At the end of the day we are no different to able bodied people.’’

Sara and Andrew in Cape Town.

‘’Don’t be afraid, just go out there and live life to the full.’’ – Sara Marshall