Bronx senior strives forward despite partial loss of her leg
A Bronx senior who had part of her leg amputated is not letting life's challenges get in her way.
Sharmon Gem Still has always stayed on the go. The retiree has become even more active since dealing with the biggest challenge that changed her life.
"I say if it's to be, it's up to me and I get rolling," Sharmon says.
In April 2020, Sharmon was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was placed on a ventilator. She woke up to find her leg amputated above the left knee due to a life-threatening blood clot.
"Basically, my leg was gone, and I had to go to and just start my new life all over again," she says.
Sharmon has fully embraced her new life by learning how to walk again with her prosthetic leg and being an active member of the Montefiore's Adaptive Sports program, an initiative tailored to amputees and people with disabilities.
"I am active in pickleball and adaptive boxing," Sharmon says.
The hospital's Adaptive Sports program not only helps to improve a patient's physical strength but also their mental well-being.
"In the beginning, I started falling into a depression, but it keeps me busy. It keeps my spirits up," Sharmon says.
"This just allows people to see that even though their body may be different from what they were used to, it still moves, and there's still a lot of physical activity and a lot of sports that they can keep doing," says Dr. Stephanie Rand, of the Montefiore Medical Center.
In fact, Sharmon says cycling has become her passion. The 66-year-old recently completed her first 5K handcycling race with Achilles International.
"It's just freeing, and there's on limits when I'm cycling," she says.
Sharmon says the power of prayer keeps her positive, despite the loss of her limb. She's now gearing up another race event next week.