I remember lying in the ambulance after the accident. I was scared because I knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to Heaven. I did not know God. I remember praying for a second chance, and I committed my life to God in the ambulance.
I survived, but unfortunately, the leg was too mangled and my mom made the decision to amputate since I was knocked out at this point. I am really thankful to be alive. It was a complete miracle that I survived the accident. But with my love for sport, I was absolutely devastated at the prospect that the things I loved to do, I could not do anymore. That is tough — complete devastation.
I wondered, “God, why would You give me an ability and then take it away and let it be a waste?” He revealed to me that He put my love and drive for competition in me for a reason. I just needed to learn to apply it in a different way.
In some ways losing my leg was an amazing gift. I believe God’s hand was in it, and I don’t have any bitterness. He knew that this was the only way He was going to get my attention. I am thankful that at 16 years old I learned what was important in life. I certainly had moments of frustration, but never anger towards God. I still know that God is in control and if He could save me from an accident like that, there is nothing He cannot handle.
I am so thankful I get to live out one of my dreams — to be a professional athlete. It was my goal to play rugby internationally and things were looking good and on track. Twelve years ago, lying in a hospital bed short one foot, being a professional runner was the last thing I expected to be doing in my life. But we serve a mighty God.
God is not limited by things like physical disabilities or social stigmas or all the other things we see in life as limitations. He thinks on a much bigger scale than we do and can see the bigger picture.
—Stef Reid, Canadian Track and Field Paralympian
Stef Reid grew up playing a variety of sports but fell in love with rugby at age 12. Raised in Canada by British parents, she lost part of her right leg in a boating accident at age 16. She began running with a prosthetic in college and competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, earning a bronze medal in the 200-meter race. She holds the world record in the adaptive long jump and won a silver medal in the event at the London Paralympics.