Sometimes we are put in situations where we need to make difficult choices. While most of us choose what is personally favorable to us, others are brave enough to make selfless decisions. When a woman is faced with a tough decision like this, especially if it involves her children or even motherhood, it gives them the courage to take the selfless path. One such person is a woman from Texas who discovered she was pregnant after a fateful accident.
Caitlin Conner, a marketing executive did not know she was pregnant until she met with a horrific accident. The 29-year-old was on a bike with her then-husband Jaylon when the accident occurred. “I flew off the back of the bike, Jaylon went with the bike. I remember rolling and skidding to a halt. I sat up and looked at my leg and my left ankle was turned inward,” said the woman to Metro, recalling the accident that happened in 2014.
The woman, who sustained severe injuries, had to be airlifted by paramedics for immediate medical attention. While they were prepared for possible surgeries, what she did not expect was the news of a baby on the way. She was asked if she was pregnant. However, Caitlin who was completely unaware of the pregnancy, said she didn’t know. “The last question I remember before passing out on the way to surgery was if I was pregnant, to which I replied, ‘I don’t know, we’ve been trying but the tests have said no,’ then lights out,” recalled Caitlin to Sun.
On regaining her consciousness, the woman was informed that she was pregnant. “I woke up during the night with my family beside me, trying to comprehend how much time had passed. My left leg was in an external fixator. The nurse walked in and said ‘oh good, you’re awake. We want to tell you that you are pregnant,'” she said. Caitlin was now faced with a decision she did not expect. She required six reconstructive surgeries to save her left leg but she wouldn’t be able to undergo it without heavy medication that would affect the baby in her womb.
Being pregnant, she could not go through with the high-risk surgeries as it could threaten the life of her unborn child. “I had to do everything with minimal pain medicine, anesthesia, and antibiotics to make sure the baby stayed safe which was dangerous and painful. I knew I had to be as calm as possible to keep the baby from being affected by stress,” said the mother.
Caitlin knew she was left to make a difficult decision but the expecting mother knew there was only one choice left to make. The young woman decided to sacrifice her leg for the unborn child. “As soon as I learned I was pregnant, I had someone else to take care of, so I didn’t focus on myself. Everything was about the baby,” she said.
The young woman opted to have her left leg amputated from below the knee. While having a baby is a life-changing decision, losing a functional limb can also have a huge impact on your life. But Caitlin had decided she’ll adapt to the change and teach herself to walk before the baby arrived.
“My leg didn’t define me as a person, but the baby would,” said the woman. Months later on February 13, 2015, the determined woman welcomed her baby girl, Tinley.
Though she felt weak and tired, the new mother pushed herself to achieve the impossible everyday with her newborn by her side. She even discovered her interests in para-sports, such as para-cycling, running and swimming. “After that, I started walking 5K while pushing Tinley in a pushchair. I hated how I looked, and I felt weak,” said Caitlin. Though recovery was a long way, she struggled each day to make things better. The inspiring woman then went on to become a competitive para-athlete and even founded a non-profit called Be More Adaptive.
The story of Caitlin reminds us of many mothers who have made sacrifices and pushed their limits for the welfare of their families and children.