Woman Regains Mobility After Voluntarily Amputating Her Foot

5 years 4 months 1 week ago Monday, December 10 2012 Dec 10, 2012 Monday, December 10, 2012 3:55:00 PM CST December 10, 2012 in News
By: Emily Spain
loading

COLUMBIA - Walking the halls of Parkade Elementary School, Judy Berna reunites with her childhood memories and her earliest fears.

"I remember feeling not like everybody else, but wanting to be like everybody else," Berna said recalling her years spent at the school.

While at Parkade, Judy learned at a young age that life isn't always fair.

"This was definitely when I was in these halls, the transition that I realized that it was different. It was something that I was going to have forever."

Doctors diagnosed Judy with spina bifida when she was born, leading her parents to take her to Boston Children's Hospital for treatment.

"It's a lot of uncertainty, I had never heard about this type of thing," Judy's dad Leon Johnson said. "We didn't know how to interpret it and how to go from here."

Spina bifida is the incomplete development of the spinal cord, coverings or spine. Doctor's tried to fix Judy's case when she was a baby.

"Sent me home and said best of luck and it seemed like everything went great," Judy said. It wasn't until she came to Parkade, that she first noticed her left foot start to curl in the fifth grade.

"Always when I had a growth spurt, the spinal cord was blocking the signals," Judy said. "I couldn't go do all the things I wanted to do."

The disease left her foot useless, curling more with every growth spurt. Judy used crutches and a leg brace to get around. "I still can't remember what it feels like to run," she said.

So, Judy got used to watching life from the sidelines. "You know I had four kids who were middle school down to five and it just wasn't fair that I didn't get to go do things."

After nearly three decades of letting her foot step in the way of her mobility, she decided to take action.

"I really started to think maybe I need to think about amputation, I mean that was drastic."

Sounds pretty crazy, right?

"I think it's so shocking that you don't have a reaction," Judy's dad said.

In 2004, at the age of 37, Judy decided to replace her less-than-perfect foot, with a prosthetic state-of-the-art one.

"Mine is a back wards story that I was thrilled to have it done, I couldn't wait to get rid of it. It meant I got to start over," Judy said.

Doctor's were skeptical of what Judy proposed, calling her foot healthy, but she fought for one that worked. A doctor in Utah ended up amputating her deformed foot just above the ankle near the mid-calf, leaving enough room for her prosthetic foot to fit.

"I always say it's my hero because I can do everything I want to do."

Since the surgery, Judy's been skiing, hiking and bike riding, no longer disabled by a deteriorating limb.

"I clicked this leg on and it was amazing, like I just felt like this is what I've waited for," Judy said.

A 37-year wait, to finally step off the sidelines and into a new walk of life.

"I felt like I was finally one whole piece," she said.

Judy also wrote a book about her experience titled, "Just One Foot: How Amputation Cured My Disability." For more information on Judy or her book, click here.

 

More News

Grid
List
LEE'S SUMMIT (AP) — Lee's Summit police are looking for a suspect after a woman was fatally shot inside... More >>
49 minutes ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 10:57:58 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
CLARKSBURG - Deputies arrested a man Wednesday after they said they found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cocaine. Deputies went... More >>
53 minutes ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 10:54:00 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police have arrested a third suspect in relation to a March 26 shots fired incident in the... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 10:21:00 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Marijuana advocates chose 4/20 as their day to celebrate, but this year, those in Missouri are hoping Nov.... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 10:16:00 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a Springfield man charged with fleeing from officers and causing a deadly Springfield crash had... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 9:35:00 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City plans to eliminate 17 academic and administrate jobs. The Kansas... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 9:30:21 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A homeless man has been convicted in the stabbing and beating death of a Springfield woman... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 9:25:18 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
OSAGE COUNTY - The Osage Sheriff's Office arrested a wanted felon out of Callaway County Thursday night. According to... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 8:51:00 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Two people were arrested for drug trafficking in Centralia Thursday night. According to the Centralia Police Department,... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 8:04:00 AM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A traffic safety education program, First Impact, taught parents the ins and outs of putting their teen... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:03:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Judge Rex Burlison, 22nd Judicial Circuit (St. Louis City), ruled Thursday not to dismiss the criminal case... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:01:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - An Osage School teacher is being charged with 1st degree statutory sodomy and a second charge of... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:23:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is cutting 17 professors and administrators. University officials said... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:03:20 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A St. Louis circuit court judge ruled against the dismissal of Greitens' court case Thursday. Regular session continued... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:02:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department used the former Macy's building off of Stadium Blvd. on Thursday to train its... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a man was stabbed in the neck in the 2900 block of Range Line Street Thursday... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:37:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
FORDLAND (AP) — Officials said a maintenance worker died when a Missouri television station tower collapsed and he became trapped... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:31:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A Missouri woman accused of dealing drugs from a home where an ex-convict fatally shot one police... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:01:48 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
12pm 57°
1pm 59°
2pm 61°
3pm 62°