Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman in Pain for 14 Years After Shattering Ankle at Age 13, Makes Brave Decision To Amputate Leg


After living in chronic pain for 14 years, 27-year-old Jo Beckwith made the tough decision to amputate her leg below the knee.

At age 13, Beckwith was living a horse lover’s dream. She was galloping in a field with her horse, soaking up the delicious freedom of childhood: wild, free and loving every minute.

But the glorious moment had a life-changing ending when Beckwith’s horse stumbled — sending her flying over the top and leaving her unconscious.

A trip to the hospital revealed Beckwith’s ankle was completely shattered, a unique break that left doctors staring at her X-rays in amazement.

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Over the years, Beckwith had 10 surgeries to try and fix her ankle, but none of the surgeries helped. She was always in pain.

In 2018, the chronic pain had progressed to the point that Beckwith couldn’t even walk.

She lived on painkillers, depressed that she couldn’t really live her life anymore because every moment revolved around her ankle pain.

In 2018, Beckwith made a decision that would forever alter the course of her life: an elective amputation below the knee.

“I think for a lot of people, losing a limb seems like the worst thing in the world,” Beckwith said in one of her many YouTube videos documenting her journey.

“To me, it doesn’t, but I’m just thinking of things from a rational perspective,” she said. “It makes sense to do this because it’s the quickest way to a better life.”

Beckwith, who shares her story with genuine vulnerability and strength, has been documenting her journey online under the name “Footless Jo.”

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Beckwith has shared what life has been like for her post-surgery, including physical, mental and emotional setbacks.

“This past week marked exactly three months past my amputation,” Beckwith shared with Liftable, a brand of The Western Journal. “I have been absolutely blown away by the amazing amount of support that everyone has poured over me. I could not have done this without my incredible husband, family, friends, and support.”

Positivity and tenacity shine through her videos as Beckwith navigates her new, active life with the help of a prosthetic limb.

“There is still a long road ahead of me to finding a new normal, but I am so ready for it,” she told Liftable. “Every day brings me one step closer to walking normally and pain-free. I am so grateful that I was able to make this decision, and hopeful for what is to come!”

Beckwith hopes to run someday but knows that running starts with baby steps and is a process that takes time.

“Some days it feels like “normal” is endlessly far away,” Beckwith wrote on a Dec. 29 Facebook post. “But I know this is a slow and steady process and will build more patience and perseverance.”

“I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other,” she said.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Lifestyle & Human Interest