Sonya Newman

My continuing journey to recovery….

I was finally given the OK in November last year to go home after spending two years in the hospital, away from my family.

After about 15 operations and contracting a staph infection, which resulted in the amputation of my right leg, I knew things would be tough but I wasn’t prepared for what lay ahead.

I was so excited to be going home, but when I arrived, I quickly went downhill. The reality of what my life would be like from now on with only one leg set in.

It was the little things — like not being able to get up to go to the kids in the middle of the night, the difficultly of climbing three separate sets of stairs in the house and not being able to drive the kids to school or sports, or even make medical appointments without the help of my partner.

Learning to walk again was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. When I first put on the prosthetic, I was crushed because I thought I couldn’t do it, and I would never be able to walk again. It was at this point I started to get down and feel depressed.

I did a lot of swimming as a teenager and swam at the national titles, so when I saw the Invictus Games nominations come out, I thought I would try out. The lead-up to the selection camp for the 2017 training squad provided me with the motivation I needed to get moving in life. I started swimming again and learned to walk, and my entire outlook has since changed. I now see what I can achieve in life and not what I can’t.

While the past two years have undoubtedly been the most difficult of my entire life, I feel lucky to have had the support of my wonderful family and to be a member of the Australian Defence Force, who has continued to look after me and provide me the best possible care.