Marine Veteran Kirstie Ennis: Life After A Leg Amputation | Cosmopolitan

Marine Veteran Kirstie Ennis: Life After A Leg Amputation | Cosmopolitan


It’s absolutely insane that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. And I get it. After my injuries, I went to that dark place. A year after, literally a year after, on June 23, 2013, I tried doing the same thing. And if it wasn’t for my family and my loved ones, my friends, I wouldn’t be here. My name is Kirstie Ennis. I’m 25 years old, and I was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corp. In June 2012, on my second deployment to Afghanistan, my helicopter went down. My whole world literally was flipped upside down in the blink of an eye. I just remember people calling my name, and I tried to stand up and my leg buckled underneath me. And I remember one of the Army medics, he came over, and he said, “Don’t close your eyes because you’re not going to open them again.” As a result of the crash, I’ve had 38 surgeries. Soon to be 39 surgeries. Two years of speech and cognitive therapy, mental health, and it’s still not over. Chronic pain is a part of my everyday life. Tomorrow at 7:15 in the morning, I am going down to the hospital in San Diego, and I’m going to have my left leg amputated below the knee. In an effort to improve my quality of life. Today I’m going to spend my day just walking. I want to feel the things that I’m not gonna feel again. Walking on the beach today just in the sand, putting my feet in the water, walking through the grass. Even putting my feet in ice. It might sound pretty minor to most people, but it’s not gonna be there, I’m not gonna be able to do any of these things again. Like experience it with a piece of my body. It’s been a long road, and I’m ready to overcome it. Today’s November 23rd, and I’m at Naval Medical Center San Diego where they took care of me from the get go. And I had my leg amputated below the knee. There it is. I’ve resisted it for a long time. It’s not like I said, OK take it, in the very beginning. You know, I tried the fusion. I did all the bone grafting. I’ve tried the IDEO. Like, my mind and my heart is at ease because I can honestly say that I tried. Today is December 4th. I woke up, and the pain is slowly but surely subsiding. I do have to take a lot of nerve pain medicines still. As you can imagine, after the nerves are severed, they’re still firing, trying to figure out what’s going on. So that’s what’s causing me the most pain. I’m really looking forward to getting out of this silly hard cast. It’s really complicating everything in my life. But aside from that, taking it in strides still. I’m really looking forward to getting up and walking. Seeing my leg for the first time was an interesting feeling to say the least. You know, you’re excited on one hand to be able to see it all come together and realize what everybody’s been working toward for so long. And at the same time, you look down and it’s like butterflies in your stomach. The thing that I’ve had for the last 24 years is no longer there. But to see it healing and to know that it’s progressing is a remarkable feeling. My husband and I actually flew out here to be here for her surgery, which was scheduled for November 23rd. And then a couple weeks later, it got infected. She was trying to clean the wound and the incision area and stuff, and fluid was just draining out of it with a foul odor and that kind of thing. So we just went straight to the ER and when she was there, they decided emergency surgery. That she was septic and that it was life-threatening. I mean, I was devastated when they told me they were going to take my knee. When you take away your knee, that’s a game changer. There’s so much that goes into walking now. Simply walking. I wish I could put into words just how serious it is. It’s night and day between the amputations. I won’t say it limits what I can do because I can do whatever I want to do. I just have to think about it. But it does take away a lot. Kirstie’s had a lot of surgeries over the past few years actually. I haven’t been able to be out here for all of them. But definitely glad I was here for this one. You never want to see your child in a position like that. That’s the toughest part is just not really being able to do anything about it, but just trying to be here for support. I wouldn’t be here without her. I wouldn’t be here without any of my family that was in the hospital with me. I went kicking and screaming into the operating room on December 23rd. And I didn’t want them to wake me up. When they told me the severity of what I was dealing with and how bad the infection was, I didn’t want to deal with what was to come later. Having her here has kept me grounded. Having her here has helped me maybe slow it down a little bit. She’s really been here to hold my hand through all of this. And sometimes that’s all you need. To know that you’re not alone. Brian’s been the one to really deal with more of the emotional side of things. Because I’d be lying if I said that this was easy. From day one, it’s been difficult and it’s been a challenge. He was the one that was there when I got a lot of the bad news. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. *laughs* I don’t think people realize the process. Right? I didn’t know you would have to make me a jumper. There ya go. Standing up. I’m crying. It was really amazing to see how well she walked. I thought all of it would be more of a struggle for her. But she really got up and, she had to think about it first, but after a few practice steps, she was just going. I guess that’s kind of like she was when she was a child. Just like, watch out because I’m ready to go. Being able to walk today was pretty much exactly what I needed. And the timing couldn’t have come any better really. I was still trying to wrap my head and my heart around everything that happened. To this day, I still have nights where I’m crying because I’m frustrated with everything. You know, I grab my leg, and it’s not there anymore. I was struggling with where I thought I should be. And you know, I need to learn to take it down a peg and realize that I have to be patient with this. I’m different than I was five months ago, but I’m the same person. I felt beautiful with two legs, and I may have gone down a slippery slope while I was dealing with all of this. But whether I have one leg, whether I have no legs, if I’m stuck in the chair and so on and so forth, I’m still beautiful. It’s important for me to know that what I’ve gone through and what I’ve yet to face was for something. I am happy. I’m extremely proud of everything that I did in the military. I’d do it all over again, if I could. That’s what I signed up for. I would lay my life down for the man or woman that stood next to me. And at the end of the day, I’m thankful that it happened to me. It happened to me because someone somewhere knew that I could handle it.

100 comments

  1. Pretty big step just for a conversation starter, just so she can say "ohhh..I lost it in a helicopter crash", she was walking just fine with some disconfort, and now karma hit her with with loosing her knee as well.

  2. To those who recruits them: Girls should be home, under protection of real men. To Kirstie: wish you luck and lot's of LOVE!

  3. One word describes that devil dog , BAD!!!!!!! , her story really puts things into perspective , just keep on , keepin on , fight the fight , The Xena Warrior Princess!!!!

  4. Sorry you are dealing with this. It's not fair but it's something God needs you to accomplish for some reason. He is with you at every moment so keep the faith. You are a beautiful person, appreciate the good things in life. You will learn to cope with this and you will become very strong. I appreciate the sacrifice you made for my family to be free. Thank you and lots of love…

  5. there's no life after an amputation, only a meaningless shell that needs disposal. after all, 5 billion of "healthy" humans need to be wiped off the face of the planet! a cripple stands no chance thus

  6. Kirstie, I hope you see this comment. Thank you for your service. God loves you, and He wants you to know that He can heal you!! Hebrews 13:8 says: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Jesus never stopped healing people, and He never will! And Jesus gave us the power to heal in Mark 16:15-18 In my name they shall lay hands on the sick, {injured too}, and they shall RECOVER!! , and John 14:12-13  Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto the Father. And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son., And Matt 18:19-20…where two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of you.  And James 5:14-16. PLEASE watch my show on You Tube. Just type into the search box: The Power of God 100, and click on the church. My videos start at 100 and currently go up to 140. For more miracle healing scriptures, watch: The Power of God –  Prophecy from God to US Churches #100,    Receiving the Holy Spirit #101,      Christ's Power in You! #102,      Please Get Saved Now! #105,     Prophecy through Interpretation #109,       The Cure for Cancer is JESUS!! #112    Injuries and Heresies in the Churches! #113,      Blood on Their Hands #114,     Find and Use Your Holy Spirit Gifts! #115    Mark 16:15-18 Five Signs ARE for Today #116,     Divers Kinds of Tongues Part 1 and 2 #119 & #120,    'Please Get Saved Now!! #125,      Amazing Miracles #135,     Healing through Intercession-Part 1 of 2 #135      Healing through Intercession- Part 2 of 2 #136. God bless you, and I will be praying for your complete miracle healing from Jesus!

  7. did you have a bone infection? you look strong and your youth can help you thru and assuming two years later hopefully your still with us. oo-rrah jarhead best wishes to you and yours -stumpy

  8. You’re a beautiful person and I wish I knew you in person. I went through the same thing. 2 amputations. Septic. 23 surgeries. Coma. Keep up the fight! Always move forward! Get some!

  9. Crazy to think you have s perfectly good leg and you cut it off for some reason… is she trying to get more benefits or sympathy or something?

  10. Actually the other one is still very pretty and hot!
    You are hot!
    😀
    Cheer up! Strength and faith for your life!

  11. Inspiring, I also have a bad leg, I have had the option to keep my bad leg. Over, the years of having my bad leg, I have come to the realization, as a athlete, my bad leg is a nuisance. I have decided and medical bills, it will be better to also have it amputated. Hard shit to deal with for sure, but better than having dead weight if a leg. Mine is more of femoral injuries. Good luck!

  12. First of all…,.. thank you soooooooo much for serving for our country/my family!!!! I will always be grateful for your sacrifice! Much love and Aloha always!!! I have family and friends that are serving in all branch. You will always be in mine and my families hearts!

  13. You ARE beautiful!!! I didn’t notice the scar on your face until you showed the picture, I am so happy for you that you have made it this far!!! Keep on trucking!!!

  14. Thank you for your service , thank you for being strong , tell your family thank you for me for being there for you , thank you for the video of your journey . If you give up nothing changes , thank you for not giving up . You may not need it , you have an awesome support team backing you . Check out The Warriors Journey .org , someone else may ,again thank you , Be Strong & Courageous

  15. Semper fi Marine your band of brothers and sister are always with you. God Bless Cpl McCray Alpha co 1/6 camp Lejuene Golf War Vet.

  16. What a brave person you are. God speed to you and may he bless you. Thank you for your service to our country.

  17. Hi my name is Bert de Vries from the Netherlands. I think you are a massive brave woman. I lost my foot when I was 21 years old. This was because of an major accident when I was 6 years old. I know how it felt when my foot was cut of. Strange feelings because of my missing limp and the feelings that it is still there. I am 52 years old now. and still thinking about the things I have done in all those years. Driving a bike honda Goldwing 1000cc. Get my lorry licence with no problems. I think You manage in life well but if you ever need to talk with someone who knows what it is, living as an amputee, please don`t hesitate

  18. I also want to say to your mom and your family…..You did a good job mom. support is so important when your family has to coop with such a tragedy . Respect for all of you. regards. Bert de Vries, Hillegom Netherlands

  19. what a shame…they couldn't amputate her right the first time and made her go through the whole process again; the grief, the pain, the agony. She's a tough woman

  20. Respect sister.
    As a veteran.
    I know what chronic pain.
    But they can't cut mine out.
    It's in my lung.
    Stay strong.
    I will.

  21. I don't know if you noticed it, but her boyfriend has amputated leg, hand and 3 fingers… They are so strong couple. I wish them only the best 🙂

  22. What a fuckin crybaby. Typical american terrorist bitch. What a pathetic loser. No wonder the US is losing the war in Afghanistan and Iraq LOL

  23. I just want you to know that my heart goes out to you and I admire your strength encourage keep up the good work I know that Jesus loves you and think about how much pain he suffered for you and I on the cross and your pain will diminish

  24. Excellent video!!!
    Thank you for your service
    Your inspiration is right there with #that1leggedmonster (KC Mitchell) and #derekweida
    All of you show to never quit
    Stay strong and thank you

  25. thank you for sharing your story. unlike you I've had 16 surgeries to my left leg and my wife of 28 years left a couple of years after i fell off a roof I was a carpenter for 28 years. i too went into a dark hole my wife leaving me when I needed her most hurt more than losing my leg the divorce split my family apart the one thing that matter the most to me.i just had a 2nd amputation and today 8 years later I am still trying to bring my family together. i now have 4 grandchildren and 1 on the way. even now i miss my family more than I do my leg.but i remember te da i sat outside of m daughter house knowing that week my life would change forever.

  26. What services wtf … she want to fight to kill people…she end up with amputated leg … good luck… yehh keep fighting ur ghost

  27. Thank you so much for your service!!! You are a fighter!!!! You make it all look so easy and trust me , I know first hand how hard it is !! The same year , 2012, January, I woke up from a 6 week coma with my right leg amputated above the knee!! Life as I knew it would never be the same!!! I also have severe neuropathy in my remaining leg so walking is a challenge!!! I’m so proud of you , and you are an inspiration to millions!! 👍👍👍👍❤️❤️👍❤️❤️❤️👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍❤️❤️❤️❤️

  28. Thank goodness there are changes in US Laws to allow "Females" to be able to join Combat. Great PR though.

  29. Why did they put off the leg. My english is not good enough to understand it. The leg looked good before they cut it off.

  30. Great get your lims amputated for the zionist elite that rules you.
    Great live a filthy life go serve the deep state.
    All this propaganda of how happy you can be with your body jagged is BS.
    Wake up.

  31. God Bless YOU girl! You're doing well on your leg. I'm an above the knee amputee and if I can offer some advice wrt: stairs. They saying is "Up with the good, down with the bad".
    When going up a flight of stairs, step up with your good leg first and then bring your C leg. When going down, step down with the C leg and then your good leg to follow.

    Keep going Marine!

  32. Let's all shout out a hardy THANK YOU to the feminists who screamed, whined, and demanded that women be allowed to go into combat zones. Of course, those cunts who screamed the loudest would NEVER volunteer to become a combat soldier or Marine.

  33. my mom was a medic in the military and some of the stories she has told me is pretty awful :/.. I'm glad that you recovered 🙂

  34. Thank you for ur service and for sharing ur powerful story of courage and strength with us. I think you should get a tattoo put on your left foot. (am I right?) That would be awesome. You got this!!

  35. Thank you so much for serving our country and the sacrifices you have made to protect it!

    Was your boyfriend in the service also? I noticed [and they ignored it in the video] that he had a false arm and I think some fingers missing. If that is so, thank him also for his service!

  36. 22 per day attempt suicide, in Scotland 6 per day they achieve suicide, all eterans , thank you for your zervice , sempir fidelis

  37. Thank you veteran's! Most of us have nothing to complain about….. Look at this awsome women who served our country.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH MAM!

  38. If God exist… then you will have your leg back… pretty soon… it is a matter of time… you r sweet woman.. Please dont loose faith in Him!

  39. Just watched your speech as you got the award and was blown away by you. When you speak there is only light… and we see nothing but perfection! Thank you for your sacrifice!
    You are beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

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