Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Amputee OT

Life Lessons: Life as an amputee

A year ago, Christina Stephens' life changed forever.

"I was working on my car and changing the brakes, and I dropped my car on my foot," says Stephens. "It slipped off the jack."

Her foot was broken in eight places; with vascular and nerve damage. Stephens had to choose between a life of pain, or a life without her leg.

The decision: amputation.

"Being more functional is more important to me than saving every little bit of flesh that I could save," Stephens said.

At work, Stephens is an occupational therapist, but online she's known as "Amputee OT."

Stephens makes her own video blogs. She records informational pieces, answers questions, and even throws in some humor.

One YouTube video went viral with more than 1.6 million hits. In it, she constructs an entire leg out of Legos.

Stephens says she hopes the videos show other amputees' everyday realities.

"I just kind of wanted to de-stigmatize that to show that amputees are not scary," she said.

Fifty-three-year-old Rebecca Bindbeutel had an amputation, and found Stephens' videos. She says one in particular helped her with her biggest daily struggle: getting dressed.

"Nobody told me what to do," says Bindbeutel. "[But] her video did."

Stephens wants to show people what life as an amputee really looks like.

"I want people to know that just because you lost your limb does not mean you lost your life," she said.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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