How one Brooklyn native turned her limb loss hardship into her life's purpose to help others
Whether we have four limbs or no limbs, we are all just people. That's the sentiment echoed by Robert Schulman, founder of the locally run organization Limb Kind that helps provide children with prosthetic limbs.
One Brooklyn native used her hardship to find her life's purpose.
"If someone were to ask me, 'Nicole, do you want your legs back?' I'll give them back to you, but you have to sacrifice all the experiences that you have had over the last 6 years. I would say no way," says Nicole Grehn of Brooklyn.
After suddenly collapsing in 2015, Nicole's life changed forever. It was a couple months after spending nine days in a coma while doctors fought to keep her alive that Nicole learned she has a genetic mutation for sudden cardiac death. She says the news that followed felt like she was living her worst nightmare.
"They removed the blankets, and I didn't see my feet and I honestly felt at that moment... 'Why didn't I just die?'"
Doctors had performed a double above the knee amputation on Nicole and she recalls the day she took her first steps with her new prosthetic legs as the most emotional day of her life. She credits the amputation for helping her find her purpose.
"My purpose in life is to give more than I receive. That's everyone's purpose in my opinion and I figured that out because of this," Nicole says.
It was about a year and half ago that Nicole traveled to Haiti to help fit children with prosthetics with the Limb Kind Foundation who has just opened their first store in Queens.
"That trip was absolutely amazing, and it just changed my whole perspective about what is really needed around the world in our prosthetic industry."
This week marks the opening of the Limb Kind Foundation Center in one park where founder Robert Schulman builds and provides prosthetics, orthotics, and in-house physical therapy to children and teens with limb loss.