What should have been happy news was marred by the fact she had been in a horrible accident and was given the difficult task of choosing to save her leg or keep her baby. What did she choose?
There are many ways to find out you're pregnant and for many people, it's a joyful experience. However, the circumstances surrounding this woman's discovery of her pregnancy was compounded by one tragedy after another.
Marketing executive Caitlin Conner, 29, from Texas, suffered a terrifying motorcycle crash on May 30, 2014, when she and her ex-husband, Jaylon, 32, were on their way to visit family, according to The Sun. A driver had been texting while driving and also changing lanes, which is why the pair on the motorcycle went unnoticed. She recalled to the news outlet, “It was a nice evening and the weather was kind, so Jaylon and I decided to hop on the motorcycle to go to his parents’ house."
"The light turned green and we got into the left lane of a two-lane road. There was a young woman driving a white car who was angled across the entire lane in a way that made it seem like she was turning into the left lane. She didn't see us on the bike which we later learned was because she was texting while driving. She started coming out into the left lane and we saw her about to hit us," she continued. "She was trying to gun it to get across and we never stood a chance against whatever was more important on her phone. I flew off the back of the bike, Jaylon went with the bike. I remember rolling and skidding to a halt. I sat up and looked at my leg and my left ankle was turned inward.”
Immediately rushed to the hospital, the shock of the accident barely wore off before she was dealt another one. While being urgently treated, she discovered that she was four weeks pregnant, reported Metro UK.
She told The Sun, “The last question I remember before passing out on the way to surgery was if I was pregnant, to which I replied, ‘I don't know, we've been trying but the tests have said no,’ then lights out. I woke up during the night with my family beside me, trying to comprehend how much time had passed. My left leg was in an external fixator. The nurse walked in and said ‘oh good, you're awake. We want to tell you that you are pregnant.’”
The mom-to-be was then informed that she’d need extensive surgeries to save her leg. However, those same high-risk procedures would put her unborn baby at risk as well. The surprise pregnancy meant that Caitlin would have had to have minimal anesthesia during the six reconstructive surgeries she needed to save her leg as well as limited pain medication.
But between the choice of saving her leg and saving her baby, she opted to amputate her leg to make sure her baby was unharmed. "My choice was simple. I wanted her more than I wanted part of my body," Caitlin said, reported Honey 9. Determined to learn how to walk again before her baby, whom she had named Tinley, she spent the following nine months pushing herself through her pregnancy.
And soon enough, when baby Tinley was born, her mom had a new prosthetic leg. “My goals were to walk and run before Tinley was born. I just wanted to be able to run and play with her, or to be able to run and grab her if she ran off. I did as much physiotherapy as I could until I was too heavily pregnant," she said, according to The Sun.
All her hard work paid off and now the new mom is even an avid practitioner of physical exercise. In fact, she has even been named the United States' first female amputee boxer and she credits her success to her daughter, according to Metro UK. "I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't gone through the accident and certainly if I hadn't made the decision to choose my daughter's safety over my own," she wrote on Facebook, according to Honey 9.
"Nobody said motherhood would be easy, but for me, it is most certainly worth it," she added. "She [Tinley] has catalyzed all the things I'm doing good in life and without her, none of it would exist."