SwimSwam welcomes reader submissions about all topics aquatic, and if it’s well-written and well-thought, we might just post it under our “Shouts from the Stands” series. We don’t necessarily endorse the content of the Shouts from the Stands posts, and the opinions remain those of their authors. If you have thoughts to share, please send [email protected]
This “Shouts from the Stands” submission comes from Morgan Stickney, a member of the Paralympic Emerging Team.
When I was a freshman in high school swimming consumed my life. I was ranked top twenty in the country for the mile and my life was heading in a positive direction. At practice one day my foot started hurting, but I just ignored it. As time went on the pain persisted and I decided to see a doctor—I later found out that the bone had shattered. Surgery was the next step, unfortunately it did not help with the pain. I underwent several more surgeries in the years to come, but unfortunately I developed a major infection after one of the surgeries and we did not discover it soon enough. The word amputation began to consume my life after surgeons could only recommend that option.
In May of 2018 I had to say goodbye to my foot. As I rolled into surgery I was terrified of the many unknowns, but I woke up with a big smile on my face. The pain I had suffered from for so long was finally gone. My recovery was extremely difficult due to unforeseen complications. My surgeon brought me back to the operating room just three weeks after my amputation, but still I chose to have a positive outlook. At the end of July, I was finally able to jump in the pool after being out of it for two years. Then, after three and a half months of sitting around waiting for my leg to heal, I was finally able to get casted for a prosthetic.
The process of making my new leg began and in less than a week after receiving it, I was walking without any assistance devices. I continued to learn more about my new way of life. And just three weeks after getting my prosthetic I flew to California to compete in a para swim meet. I ended up qualifying for the Paralympic Emerging Team and was invited to move to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to train for the Paralympics in Tokyo. It has been a difficult journey to get where I am at today, but I have met some of the most amazing people through this journey. I have learned that with hard work and a positive outlook you can achieve anything.
About Morgan Stickney
I’m 21 years old and a biology pre-med major. I will be living at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (moving on Friday). I have been swimming since the age of 10, but had to take several years off due to medical issues. The type of amputation I underwent was experimental and will allow me to use a robotic prosthetic and move the “ankle” as if I have a real ankle.