It’s always nice to read a story of humans overcoming great adversity with bravery, dignity and a sense of humour.
The tale of Kristi Loyall is certainly one of those.
Her story begins in heartbreaking circumstances when, in 2011, she was diagnosed with cancer of the foot after the then 25-year-old Loyall had repeatedly noticed numbness in her little toe.
After a series of appointments with her doctor Kristi finally had surgery to have a bump removed from her foot, but soon after she was dealt the devastating news that doctors had discovered cancer in her foot and lower leg.
In order to avoid the spread of cancer, her leg would have to be amputated.
Refusing to be downhearted, Kristi surprised doctors when she made an unusual request before surgery; that she be able to keep her amputated foot after the operation.
And as Kristi explained, doctors really believed she was kidding at first.
“The doctor thought I was joking but I was serious and was like ‘No, I really do want it back,’” Loyall told reporters.
She collected her foot from the hospital a month later and sent it to ‘Skulls Unlimited’, a specialist company that de-fleshes and articulates bones so they can be kept and preserved.
Just a few months later Kristi was reunited with her foot, but the story doesn’t end there.
Delighted just to have her foot returned to her, Kristi had now idea that internet stardom was just around the corner.
“I was really happy (to have my foot back) I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
“Then my cousin’s friend had the idea of starting a social media account and I thought it was brilliant idea” she said.
So, not one to shy away from the realities of her amputation, Kristi set up an account on the social media platform Instagram (@onefootwander), dedicated to the travels and antics of her amputated leg!
Loyall started posting amusing images with her foot in various locations and situations and soon had a large and appreciative social media following, with more than 18,000 subscribers to date.
“I just started taking it to places and putting in it funny positions so I could make a joke about” she said.
“It makes me feel better to be able to look on the funny side of things and make other people laugh as well.”
“Everyone who comments always says really kind things.”
Well done Kristi, you’re an inspiration!
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