Hi, My name is Alex Otte. My story of amputation is a story of many other things, too, but it is what brought me to the Amputee Coalition (and to the conferences and all of the friends I’ve made through them!) When I was 13 years old, I was run over by a drunk boater. I sustained numerous injuries from head to toe, the more minor of which being the loss of my right leg. I suffered a severe brain injury (classified as shaken baby syndrome), four head bleeds, a broken jaw, a broken neck, a broken collarbone, a lacerated liver, two shattered femurs, and the loss of my right leg below the knee. The boat came down on both of my legs, but my left leg only required stitches as the propeller scars were not too deep. My right leg went through two emergency amputations (my foot and then half of my calf). I spent a week in a coma and many weeks in the ICU at a local trauma hospital. The initial recovery was a very hard and discouraging journey, at an already trying stage in a young girl’s life, I got my first prosthesis four months later and was back to playing basketball within six months. I went on to graduate high school on time, despite questions about my brain injury, and started college at the University of Kentucky.
It has been a little over seven years since then and I am now 21 years old. I am a college student, a professional sports photographer, and a national public speaker and activist. My life changed dramatically when I lost my leg, and it has not been without challenges since then, but I am so thankful that my life didn’t end that day! I have recently begun photographing college and professional sports (which involves a lot of walking on uneven terrain, running down sidelines, and a great amount of balance to maneuver camera equipment). We all have a rough journey ahead of us, between our everyday life and fighting with insurance companies, but I am so blessed to have a wonderful team of prosthetists who work closely with the Amputee Coalition to make sure I have what I need to live life to the fullest!