By Alyce Collins
AFTER a horror motorbike accident, this woman has defied the odds to walk again in just two-years, after doctors said she would be wheelchair bound for life and diagnosed her with a debilitating nerve condition for which there is no cure.
Best-selling author and motivational speaker, Amberly Lago (46) from Los Angeles, USA, was amazed to survive a horrifying vehicle collision, only to wake from her coma with a nerve disease causing her intense pain indefinitely and requiring thirty-four operations to repair her torn up leg. In May 2010, Amberly’s motorcycle was hit by a far-bigger SUV who hadn’t seen her, launching Amberly 30-feet down a busy street in California.
Due to landing on her right leg, this took the extreme force of the impact and was crushed beyond repair. When she woke up, Amberly was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a nerve disease which causes the highest ranked pain possible and has no known cure.
The pain caused by CRPS is often thought to be far worse than the pain of the accident which caused it. Amberly spent three and a half months in the hospital, had numerous surgeries on her leg and was only able to walk again two years after the accident. However, she has since become a personal trainer and written her own book to give hope to others.
“I remember every detail from the moment I realised the SUV didn’t see me, the impact and how it felt to be crushed, how it felt to slide across the pavement,” said Amberly.
“I felt my flesh being ripped off and I saw my leg in pieces.
“I survived the horrific accident only to be diagnosed with a nerve disease with no cure from the impact of the collision.
“At first I lived in denial and pretended nothing was wrong. Everything I read about CRPS left me feeling hopeless. Arriving at a place of acceptance was a path through darkness and self-doubt.
“I slowly began to adopt a new outlook on my life. My first step was readjusting my attitude towards my leg and learning to love it again despite the fact that it was scarred, didn’t work properly and gave me pain.
“I learned to listen to my body and take care of my health. If I have to stop it just means I’m taking care of myself.
“It took me four months to stand again and I walked with crutches some of the time and was in a wheelchair the rest of the time. I was told I would need to stay in my wheelchair for the rest of my life and would always be disabled.
“This was my biggest motivator to get out of my wheelchair and get stronger. It took two years, but I not only began walking again, I ran again and started training in the gym.
“I did physical therapy every day and did micro radio frequency, have been in and out of doctor appointments and tried every kind of treatments from a spinal cord stimulator, spinal blocks, massages and energy healing.
“Pretty much anything or anyone who claimed they could get me out pain I was willing to give it a try.”
During the early phases of her recovery, Amberly didn’t like showing her leg because it was covered in scars. After years of trying to be positive, Amberly is now comfortable with her leg.
“I had one doctor tell me I would probably never wear shorts again because of how my leg looked,” added Amberly.
“Another doctor said after my thirtieth surgery it would have been better to have just amputated it.
“Working with people is a gift and has given my life purpose, it pulled me out of depression. I have a different mindset now because helping others is the key to happiness.
“My story illustrates the possibility of enjoying life despite living with chronic pain, I encourage everyone to start where they are, be grateful for what they have and be gentle to themselves.”
You can read more about her life from before the collision to her journey to recovery by purchasing Amberly’s book, True Grit and Grace: Turning Tragedy Into Triumph on Amazon.