In 2018, Shamira Sally boarded a plane to undertake a university degree in Malaysia; she had anticipated that life would change after her studies- she had plans for her career and her future-little did she know that her life’s plan will change drastically due to the amputation of her right arm. It has been two years since she underwent surgery in Malaysia to save her life, and in August, she will return to continue her studies. Life has not been easy for Shamira, but with so much determination, positivity and support from friends and family, she is looking forward to what life has in store for her.
This is her story
Life Before my Amputation
I come from a small family- my grandmother, my mother, a cancer survivor, and my twin brother. My father passed away when I was a very young age. We’ve always been a close-knit family because all we have is each other.
I grew up with the knowledge that If I work hard, the result would be amazing. After secondary schooI I did a diploma in office and management at the Seychelles Business Studies Academy, where I was awarded the best overall performer after completion of my course. I was awarded a government scholarship, and in 2018 I went for further studies in Malaysia and started a degree in business management. Little did I know that my life was about to change completely.
Hospitals and Surgery
The days leading to my amputation came unexpectedly; around July 2019, I started having high fever, vomiting, body aches, and I went back and forth to clinics and hospitals as I did not feel well. The whole process of going from one hospital to another and not knowing what was wrong with me was very tiring and upsetting. Finally, I got admitted to a private hospital for further treatment. Still, as my medical insurance wasn’t enough to cover the cost, I was transferred to a public hospital within three days. It was when I was transferred from the private to the public hospital that my heart stopped. The doctors had to revive me, and I ended up in a coma for about eight days. It was a challenging time for our family-my mum was also undergoing surgery for cancer.
When I finally came out of the coma, my right arm had gangrened. Gangrene is the death of body tissues caused by the insufficient blood supply to the affected area. And days later, I was hit with the news that I have to amputate my arm. At that time, I wasn’t quite processing what was actually going on, so much had happened too quickly, and I was confused about everything going on in such a short amount of days. After a while, my family decided that they would have to sign the paper for the amputation. I was about to lose my right arm, and I was right-handed!
I am an Amputee
After the surgery, the challenges began; I couldn’t walk on my own. I was like a newborn baby learning everything all over again, which is when it hit me mentally and emotionally that my life has changed. Still, despite my feelings, I never showed anyone that it affected me mentally. So you start questioning, you feel like a burden, you start wondering why you.
The only thing on my mind was to be with my family, especially my mum, who was going through her own challenges and grandmother. I knew I would feel safer and better with them around. At that point, my faith took over. I started to become more focused on God, in prayers, and I found comfort. My faith -God kept me going, and I found the courage to live-the courage to overcome my limitations. I was grateful for a second chance in life, and therefore I made the conscious decision to live my life with gratitude- I was alive.
The support I got from my friends and family was unmeasurable; they never treated me; differently, they never made me feel left out, and they were always the shoulder I could lean on. My recovery started in Malaysia, where I pushed myself to do things independently, but the recovery process took longer, as there were days when I felt down, and even today, I have my down days. Yet, despite these emotions, I always come back stronger.
Challenges and Determination
I started learning how to use my left hand instead of my right when I was still in Malaysia. My roommate gave me a book that helped; writing and eating were difficult, but I kept practising. I continuously practised how to write and do other things that I used to take for granted. I want to become a role model for many going through different challenges- that is my daily motivation; knowing that my story inspires many people keeps me going. I want to let others know that no matter what challenges they are going through, they can face them; with that in mind, it pushes me to do things that some might say it’s impossible – I drive, cook and tackle my daily routines with confidence now.
Once you set your mind to achieve something, and you change your mindset to a positive one, there’s nothing you cannot achieve, but of course, for me, I also believe all of that is possible because of the almighty God. He gives me the strength to go on, and I am always thankful. I truly believe that if you have faith, life’s journey gets a little easier. This year, my immediate plan is to complete my degree, and then we’ll see what life brings.
A final Message
My message for others going through similar situations or, in fact, any difficulties are, first of all, to put your God at the center of your life, and NEVER give up, always push yourself to the limit, it might take days, weeks, months or even years. But, if you have the determination, you will get there- Impossible is just an opinion.
One of my favourite quotes is, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” You have to live your life no matter what – life is about learning to live with and even enjoy the inevitable storms thrown in your direction.