How was the accident on the horse?
Beckwith went on a horse ride with some friends in the open field. She was on a former racehorse that “liked to go fast,” she recalls. She remembers the horse’s name, Georgia. She remembers her friends having more experience riding than her. A few miles from the barn, she remembers Georgia stumbling and falling off the horse. She doesn’t remember much else. When she came to, she thought she felt fine. Until she tried to stand.
Hours later at the emergency room, Beckwith had her first of many conversations with doctors about her right ankle, which had been uniquely shattered. The end of her ankle had broken off and shoved an inch of her ankle bone up into her leg. “It was a cool day for doctors, because they’d never seen a break like that,” Beckwith says now. “That’s something you never want to hear.”
That day in the field Beckwith has since heard lots of things you don’t want to hear from doctors. No more running. No more soccer. No idea why she’s not healing the way she should. As she summarizes those years, a series of things went wrong for her ankle to never be quite right again. And worse than just not right.
From age 13 to 27, Beckwith was in constant pain. Surgery after surgery failed to offer relief. “I was going to keep trying to live my life,” she said. “I didn’t want that hold me back, as much I could help it.”
That meant trying things like boxing, wrestling and MMA fighting. She met her future husband while practicing jiu jitsu. Soon, though, she says “everything became too painful.” She got to a point where she could barely take her dog on a walk. So, at 27, she asked herself a big question: Is it time to amputate?
In the summer of 2018, she asked the same question to her doctors, who had previously brought up amputating her ankle later in her life, like in her 60s. She told them, “I can’t continue like this.” “It’s a bizarre thing when losing part of your body starts sounding like a good idea,” Beckwith said. “When it was restricting life and so negatively affecting every aspect of my life, I had to make the decision that this is the way it’s going to get better.”