All I could feel was pain streaming up and down my leg. All I heard were loud sirens of the fire trucks and police cars. I saw nothing but shattered glass of the car windows surrounding me. My whole family made it out of the accident safely but me. I was in shock that I can’t remember what happened before the accident and don’t remember what happened after until I got to the hospital.
“Ava Ross,” the doctor shouted in the waiting room.
My dad wheels me into our hospital room and my mom and twin brother Stephan follow. While I get lifted up onto the hospital bed, the doctor begins to talk to us.
“I’m sorry to have to inform you that the other car that hit you was a drunk driver. It looks like Ava got a pretty hard hit to her left leg in the accident. You all seem okay minus a couple scratches and maybe a minor bruise or two but after discussing the condition Ava is in with my assistant, I’m afraid to say that she will need her leg amputated from below her knee in order to keep it from getting any worse. You will be given a prosthetic leg in its place but we will get into more detail with that later. I will be back in about . . . half an hour to get you to the surgery room. “
With that the doctor walked out of the room and shut the door softly behind him hardly making a sound.
“Everything is going to be alright” my mom whispered while tucking my long, light brown hair behind my ear.
I really didn’t believe it was going to be okay. I mean, how could it? A volleyball player with a prosthetic leg? It seemed impossible. I had no idea what to say or feel so I basically bursted into tears. The Penn State volleyball tryouts are a little over a month from now and my career in volleyball seemed about over. While I waited for the doctor to come back to get me for the surgery, I started to remember what happened before the accident. All our voices filled the car on the way to dinner as we talked about tryouts.
“Ava you have private lessons everyday after school until tryouts next month. I’m not playing around I expect you to be giving it over 100% and not any less any day. There’s no excuse for you to not make this team. “ demanded my dad.
“I agree with your dad Ava, this isn’t something to fool around with” added my mom.
“Ava you’ll do great” whispered Stephan.
My brother was always supportive with whatever I did and we always had each other's backs. Our parents are always uptight with us, me with volleyball and him with hockey but we are used to it by now. The doctor came in to get me soon enough and before we all knew it the surgery was over and I now had to wait for my prosthetic leg. The only thing I could seem to focus on was if I will be able to even play volleyball as good as I needed too.
“ Okay Ava, let’s give this prosthetic leg a try. “
When the doctor was putting on the prosthetic leg, I felt so hopeless. Something that I once had was gone before I knew it. I never knew how good I had it, until I lost my leg for good and I couldn’t help but just cry.
“Now I will give you some locations to therapy places. If you want to get back to normal as much as you can, you will need to go to therapy three times a week until I say otherwise.” informed the doctor.
“Thank you. I really appreciate it” my dad stuttered.
A week into therapy was already becoming really hard. The top of the prosthetic leg was always irritating my leg where it attached. I had to do exercises and workout to become stronger so it will be easier to get around with my new leg. One day after therapy my trainer came over to talk to me and my dad before we left.
“Ava can I see you over here for a second?” exclaimed my trainer Brandon.
“This is a friend I know, her name is Zoey. She has a prosthetic leg like you and teaches kids with a similar condition on how to adjust to the sport they play and would gladly like to help you everyday after school and the days you have therapy you can go right after that. She will do it hear in the gym. How does that sound?”
“Yes, that would be great” I blurted.
“Perfect. We’ll start tomorrow.” Zoey beamed.
I started to get a little more hope and it was the best feeling considering I didn’t have much left.
The therapy continued to get easier the more I went and the special training couldn’t of gone better. I have made a lot of progress and I really enjoy getting this help because it will help me in the long run.
Not having about half of your leg was a very different feeling. If you could even imagine what it would be like. The prosthetic leg wasn’t too bad and getting used to it wasn’t as hard as you all may think but it didn’t look the best either. Whenever I go out in public, I always see people staring and each time I feel like they're judging. It gets embarrassing some days but that is the least of my worries now. My worries were all on tryouts. The next morning I went to tryouts and I thought I did really good and better than some girls who had both of their legs believe it or not. Yes, everyone stared and they asked questions but I don’t think that my prosthetic leg was a disadvantage for me. The extra help I got with Zoey really payed off. I always do wonder that they may not pick me because I look different than everyone else. That maybe they think that I won’t do as good as the other girls because of my leg. But today I hopefully proved them wrong. That I can work and play as hard as anyone else there who tried out.
A year later
“35-0, Penn State with the championship” The ref hollered.
The crowed cheered and shouted. People filled the stands and there was not one seat left. It was a really good and intense game.
“Coach James Mason, do you have anything to say to the audience?” a reporter questioned.
“Yes I do. I would like to say that I’m very proud of my girls this year. They had put in a lot of hard work to get this far and I couldn’t be more happy for each and every one of these girls. Let’s have a round of applause for the team. Let’s also give a special applause for a very special team member Ava Ross. She is the first, the very first to become a professional player with half a prosthetic leg. I can say that I didn’t think it could be possible for a volleyball player to have her condition but she is living proof that it can happen and I wouldn’t want anyone else but her.”
“May I ask you a couple questions Ava?” requested the reporter.
“Yeah go ahead” Ava cheered.
“Well as we know you're the first player with a prosthetic leg, what are your feelings about the whole situation.”
“You all may think “Oh look at her, she probably isn’t any good”, “I wonder how she got on the team with that leg”, “how can she play”, “how does she do it”, well this prosthetic leg did take some getting used too I’ll say that, but it’s not that much as a disadvantage as you all may think. I can play as good as anyone here. I wanted to be able to play as good as anyone who was going to tryout and I made that happen. They all still treat me the same because they know I am capable of the same skills they are. Don’t give up on your dream or goal if something gets in your way like this prosthetic leg got in the way of mine. With whatever it is, if you want it bad enough you can make it happen . Look where I am now, I just never gave up.”
I looked up at the stands to see everyone standing and cheering. I see my family in the front row and I started to cry. But this time not out of sadness or pettiness for myself, but tears of joy because I realize how far I have come and how lucky I am to be here on this court playing the game I love today.