Local woman recovering from double leg amputation following motorcycle accident
By Mary Hill
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 12:05 AM EDT
Titusville area resident Catherine Fielding has a goal: to walk to her daughter’s college graduation in May.
To most people, walking anywhere sounds simple enough, but for Fielding, walking is anything but easy, since she had a double amputation of her legs last summer after suffering critical injuries in a motorcycle accident on June 10, in Butler.
Fielding’s injuries were so severe, she had her left leg amputated, and, two months after the accident, she underwent a below-the-knee amputation to her right leg.
She said she has been using a below-the-knee prosthetic right leg since the end of October, and she recently began physical therapy sessions to learn how to use her left leg prosthesis.
“I just got my left leg and I’m walking on two legs now,” Fielding said. “As soon as your body is ready and you’re healed, you are fitted with the prosthesis.”
Fielding said she was fitted with prosthetics from Dellatorre.
She added that she is still using a walker for assistance, but plans to “walk in that door” when her daughter, Krysta Simmons, receives her master’s degree in psychology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, this May.
“I am going to walk to my daughter’s graduation and I am going to walk proud,” Fielding said.
She also wants to challenge her 1-year-old grandchild, Keira, “to see who walks first.”
Fielding said she has another grandchild, Alana, who is 6-years-old “going on 7.”
But, 10 months ago, it was a different story. Fielding nearly lost her life from the injuries she suffered in the accident.
According to Jennifer Davis, media relations spokesperson at West Penn Allegheny Health System, Fielding and her boyfriend, John Leddy, were injured in the motorcycle accident that happened north of Butler, on state Route 68, when Leddy lost control of the bike.
Fielding said when the accident occurred, she went off the bike and hit a guardrail “spread eagle,” and severed the main artery in her left leg. She said she was wearing a helmet.
“If I didn’t have that helmet on, I wouldn’t be here. That helmet saved my life,” Fielding said.
A grandmother who lost both of her legs in a motorcycle crash is defying the odds all while stunning doctors with her optimistic outlook on life. Catherine Fielding says she’s determined to walk at her daughter’s graduation.