For their anniversary in March 2023, Stephanie and Jared Poole traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains to hike and celebrate 18 years of marriage.
“It was a great trip!” said Stephanie.
Stephanie was able to have an active, outdoor vacation with the use of her prosthetic leg. In 2015, her right leg was amputated above the knee due to a giant cell tumor in her tibia.
“I was diagnosed with the tumor in 2000,” said Stephanie. “I was treated for it at MD Anderson Cancer Center, but I had two reoccurrences of it over the next several years. My leg had to be reconstructed. I had a knee replacement, in which metal plates were implanted and I had muscle and skin grafts. Ten years after the surgery, the pain came back, and I was back on crutches and in a wheelchair.”
Finally, in June 2015 Stephanie underwent another surgery to try to determine if the hardware in her leg could be repaired, and if her pain could be alleviated. She also knew if the surgeons thought it was necessary, they would amputate her leg. “I went into that surgery knowing that I could wake up without my leg,” said Stephanie.
Immediately following the amputation, she had some physical therapy at the acute care hospital so that she could manage temporarily without her prosthetic leg. In January 2016, Stephanie received her prosthetic leg and began outpatient physical therapy at TIRR Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center.
“I have three kids and my prosthetic leg brought me to a place where I could function and really enjoy my time with them,” said Stephanie. “In therapy, in addition to learning to use my prosthetic leg, I worked on strengthening my right side, since I hadn’t been using that side of my body for several years. I had to learn to do everything over again, and it is a long process. But now it is second nature.”
Today, Stephanie swims, rides a bike and hikes.
“I don’t feel held back at all, I am grateful for the mobility I have,” said Stephanie. “My leg even has Bluetooth! I can change modes when I am riding a bike, climbing stairs, need to squat or for other reasons. But most importantly, I can be a mom and wife for my family.”
For the 33rd consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 2 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.Learn More
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