In the blink of an eye
It is often said that your life could change in the blink of an eye, but none of us really get up in the morning believing that. We wake up, drink our coffee, brush our teeth and get on with our normal day, go home, take our shoes off and go to sleep just to repeat the exact same process tomorrow. I’m fairly sure that most bilateral amputees will tell you they didn’t wake up one morning thinking that they could end up without lower limbs by the end of that day.
Peli Mongotolo woke up one morning, had his coffee, brushed his teeth and got in a taxi like he did every single day. However, he didn’t anticipate for his life to change in the split second it takes to blink an eye.
The taxi he was in, crashed into the barrier of a bridge in an attempt to overtake traffic, and forced the sliding door of the taxi right into the passengers that was in the first row of seats behind the driver. Peli, sitting second closest to the door, was spared the full impact of the crash, but the edges of the smashed door could be compared to a guillotine and severed both his legs on impact. He survived the accident but his injuries left him with both his legs amputated - one above and one below the knee.
Being the young, active good-looking guy he is, it took every little drop of bravery and strength in him to wake up in the morning, have his coffee, brush his teeth, let go of the life he had planned and embrace his new future.
He was determined to impress every therapist that he came across during his recovery with his sense of humour, positive attitude and charming personality. In retrospect, the whole process went by so fast that when we blinked our eyes, he was up and walking on brand new prosthetic legs, getting his independence back and even stumbling across new-found talents such as wheelchair basketball.
In our line of work, we teach our patients new things every day. How to walk, how to sit, how to stand up, tie shoelaces, button a shirt and a variety of other small things. But every now and then, we come across a patient that teaches us much bigger things.
From Peli we learnt that life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. Make peace with your past so it won’t ruin your present, it’s never too late to be happy, believe in miracles and that nothing can amputate a strong positive attitude!