This past Thursday I sat in my favorite coffee shop and was interviewed by a lovely lady with a strong Australian accept. Australia's women's magazine, 9Honey.com, was kind enough to take interest in my story and want to speak with me to craft an article. Four days later the story was published on their site - you can read it below!
When Jordan Beckwith made the decision to amputate her foot, her family and husband were against it. She had good reason for wanting such a dramatic procedure but her husband, Brian, urged her to reconsider.
"He was really, really, really, really resistant to this idea," Jordan, 27, tells 9Honey.
"His thought, which made sense, was 'Do everything you can first because once you cut it off you can't take it back'."
Her parents needed convincing too, but not as much as Brian. But that's because they had lived Jordan's nightmare with her. When she was 13-years-old Jordan fell off a horse while trail riding near her home, in Colorado Springs, in the United States. "I was galloping for the first time on this ex-race horse and she really liked running and it kind of got out of control and then she tripped and I went over her shoulder. "Thankfully she was ok, but I definitely was hurt and that fall shattered my ankle and started the whole process."
What followed was years of surgeries – 10 of them – throughout her teenage years. "I had a very different high school experience than anyone else because I was always on crutches, I was always on painkillers, I was either just out of surgery or waiting for the next one and that pretty much went on until the end of high school, when I was 17," Jordan explains. Despite the seemingly endless round of surgeries, her ankle remained problematic and she was in constant pain.
"[Doctors] realized all of the cartilage had gone so I was basically walking bone on bone, which was super painful and at that point there was nothing they could do but fuse the ankle."
But again, that didn't work and Jordan was told she would need to have an ankle replacement – a risky procedure on someone so young. "You can replace an ankle once, maybe twice," Jordan says. She was told the replacement ankle would last 10-15 years at best. "[They said to me] 'Maybe you'll get it done again and we'll make it last as long as we can but this is going to end in amputation eventually, but that is when you're 60-70'.
"I always knew amputation was a possibility in the future, but it was so far away that I joked about it. It was never a reality until just about a year ago."
That's when Jordan's mobility dramatically reduced and her pain increased.
"There was always pain but I could always manage it. But a year and a half ago, it got completely unmanageable and I couldn't walk without a lot of painkillers.
"I went to see doctors and realized that replacing [the ankle] was going to be a terrible option."
The only thing left was to amputate her foot.
Doctors performed one final surgery hoping there was another way, but that too, failed.
"It's going to end [with amputation] anyways," Jordan says.
"A replacement will buy me 10-15 years at most and I'm still going to be in pain where I can do even less than I can do now, why would I do that? And most likely it would be 18 months, as the fail rate for young people is so high.
"There were so many factors making it difficult that it just stopped making sense to me, to move forward with it just for the sake of keeping a leg. "And that's when I made my mind up. I knew where this is headed and I knew what I need to do."
But first Jordan had to convince her family.
"My parents have been with me through every step of this, they've been in the waiting room for every surgery, they were there the day I fell off the horse, they've seen all the pain I've been in and all the restriction so they got it a lot faster than my husband. "I knew it was going to be a hard thing for everyone, not just me."
She brought along her parents, and Brian, to doctors' appointments so they could hear from a medical professional exactly why the surgery was the only way forward. Jordan's foot was amputated on October 11, 2018.
"When I came out of surgery [Brian] said, 'I get it, you made the right choice'. "[My family] have had my back 100 per cent. They have just been there. I've had an unbelievable support system."
The rehabilitation process has been harder than expected, Jordan says. "It's been an up and down journey and recovery is – and still is – a super emotional process but he can see, and I can see, that we are moving forward instead of being stuck, instead of going downhill, where things only get worse. "It might be hard now, but things are getting better. We're working towards good things instead of just trying to save something that's dying.
"I feel silly saying it's harder than expected because I knew it would be really hard, but there was no way to predict the specifics of how hard it would be." From the simple act of brushing her teeth – "I have to find something to balance my other knee on but make sure it's not pressing on the part of my amputated leg that hurts" to figuring how to lay down.
"Literally everything is different. It's just really exhausting; it's finding a new normal. This first year is going to be rough, and that's just how it's going to be."
There has been a setback in her bid to walk again using a carbon fibre foot. Jordan may need to have another surgery after developing either an abscess or cyst where the amputation was made. "It's definitely been a hard transition and there have been a lot of speed bumps with recovery but I have not had any doubt that it is for the right reason, and that helps in the hard moments.
"I had one moment, a month ago, when I was like 'This is so hard'. That's the closest I've ever come to regret but even then, I thought, 'That life sucked, that life I didn't want'.
"This is a new kind of adjustment." Remarkably, Jordan is using humour to get through the hard times and started making video diaries to help convince herself amputation was the answer. The videos remained hers alone until she decided to share her journey with the world and she's found countless others going through a similar experience.
Her Instagram account – Footless Jo – is growing by the day. And she doesn't hold back with sharing confronting – and heart-warming – images of her recovery. "Where I can I laugh, I do so immediately. I have the mindset of looking at things realistically but also knowing that things will be ok.
"I've always been someone who's like, 'Ok well, things might suck now but eventually that's going to be ok'.
"But I've also had a lot of practice with that with all the surgeries growing up.
"I've been given the opportunity to be either bitter or upset and sink or choose to find support and find a way through."
And Jordan hasn't given up on horse-riding, hoping to one day get back in the saddle.
"I can't wait to get back around horses and on horses – I did some therapeutic riding a few years ago, and I would love to get back on horse. "It wasn't the horse's fault she tripped, it happens.
"I fell off, I don't hold it against them."