The Paralympics were underway in Beijing there is one story definitely worth mentioning. It is the story of courage and bravery. A story that proves that we can concur anything our mind is set to. To read the story of Army 1st Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell and see a video, see below.
Almost 4,200 athletes from 148 countries took part in the Paralympic games held following the Olympic. One of them was 1st Lt. Melissa Stockwell who on April 13, 2004, was on normal routine in Baghdad when she was hit by a roadside bomb. The blast took off Melissa Stockwell’s left leg, leaving her with only the upper thigh left. Melissa Stockwell spent a year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where we underwent 15 surgeries and rehabilitation. She was then medically retired from the Army with a purple heart and a bronze star.
Melissa Stockwell is 28 years old and currently lives at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Melissa was introduced to swimming during therapy and then became interested in it as a sport. She was drawn to swimming because it was one of the few sports she didn’t need to wear a prosthetic for.
Soon after Melissa was fitted for a prosthetic she returned to school to study prosthetic limbs and since learned to fit other amputees. I was introduced to swimming through physical therapy at Walter Reed. After Melissa learned of the Paralympic Games she started swimming in 2005 with the goal of making the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team. While Melissa fell short of making the cut to compete with team in Beijing her story is definitely one of courage and strength.
More photos and a video of Melissa Stockwell are below.