A new mother who had her leg ripped off by a truck says the horrific experience has actually helped her to look on the bright side of life.
Amelie Chouinard, 29, was taking a rest on the roadside in Canada when a truck hit her, tearing off her left leg just below the knee and breaking her left arm in 15 places.
The mother-of-one’s body was so badly mangled that medics compared her to a bomb blast victim.
Amelie, of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, said: “When the truck hit me, it chopped my leg off right away.
“The doctor said it looked like I had stepped on a bomb.”
Amelie, mother of nine-month-old Milo, was riding her motorbike on Highway 897, 20 minutes outside Cold Lake, Alberta, on May 30 when she pulled over to the side of the road to rest at around 7pm.
She said: “I have been biking for over five years. It was my passion.
“I was resting on the side of the road when I got hit by the truck.
“My leg was gone from the moment I got hit.”
Amelie, a supply technician in the military, was thrown into a ditch from where she called her partner, Tyler Hrycyk, 25, who was driving nearby with baby Milo.
“I didn’t want to think about my missing leg, I was trying to stay awake,” said Amelie.
“At first I was screaming because I couldn’t believe what had happened.
“But I think that I knew I needed to stay calm if I wanted to get through this.
“I didn’t want to talk.
“I told my boyfriend that I was okay.”
Tyler, who is also a supply technician in the military, tore off a part of his shirt to use as a tourniquet on Amelie’s leg to stop the bleeding.
She was taken by helicopter to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.
“A few days later, I was more awake and that’s when I realized my leg was gone,” she said.
Adding: “I was angry at first.
“I was crying, but I had good support around me.”
Amelie stayed in hospital for two months where she desperately missed Milo, who was then just four months old.
She said: “My left arm was broken so I wasn’t really able to hold him.
“I saw him everyday but I didn’t see him at night.
“It was hard not to be home with them and be there to feed my baby.”
Amelie moved into a house for military personnel before returning home and starting physiotherapy with her prosthetic leg in September.
She said: “I do physio every day for an hour.
“At first, it was more about building up my strength and then I started walking by holding on to bars.
“I had a trial leg to help me learn how to walk.
“It is challenging.
“I can walk now but I still need a cane to help me get around.
“Dressing can sometimes be challenging, it’s hard to put pants on.
“Carrying my baby around is difficult because I don’t want to fall with him.
“Even taking a shower is really hard.”
Amelie hopes to get a high-tech prosthetic which will help her live an athletic lifestyle as an amputee.
She said: “We are going to order a microprocessor knee
“It has sensors and it makes it easier to move around.
“Then later, I’ll probably get a blade to go running.
“I want to train for sports and maybe go snowboarding next year.
“I won’t let what happened stop me from exercising.”
She added that she is slowly getting over the shock of her sudden amputation.
“It is getting better,” she said.
“As bad as it was, the accident is making me see a lot more of the positives in life.
“I am grateful I survived.
“I am learning to live day by day and enjoy it.”