Lady who lost both legs to accident becomes first medical doctor with disability in the U.S.
Shima Nixon, A determined young lady who lost both her legs in an accident overcomes challenges to become the first medical doctor with disability in the United States.
Shima Nixon was involved in a traumatic car accident. 2013 while in Nursing school at Pitt Community College which caused her to lose her left leg above the knee later on lost her right leg below the knee.
Not giving up after her treatment, Shima decided to start her prosthetic (artificial device or limb that replaces a missing or non-functioning part of the body) leg journey according to Hanger Clinic.com.
She started walking with the aid of the Prosthetic, going through months of intense rehabilitation. Shima made progress, moving from a wheelchair to waking with two canes, and eventually started walking on her own.
Despite facing numerous challenges, Shima defied the odds and returned to school in May 2016 to pursue an associate degree in Recreational Therapy Assistant. She then went on to attend Georgia Southern University and successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy.
Shima engaged in adaptive sports such as wheelchair basketball and started visiting other amputees, which helped her come to terms with herself. Later, she took up the role of a recreational therapist for male prisoners, where she encountered an amputee who received minimal or no care.
According to her, observing the amputee’s rehabilitation motivated her to pursue a profession as a prosthetist/orthotist (O&P). As a result, Shima submitted applications to various O&P master’s programs and was admitted to multiple institutions.
This Should motivate you never to let any obstacles that you encounter prevent you from reaching your objective.
Shima opted for the program at Alabama State University, which is the sole historically black college and university (HBCU) offering it, as her goal was to tackle the racial inequalities prevalent in the field of O&P, where several patients belonging to minority communities lack access to clinicians who share their ethnicity.
Shima expressed her willingness to lead the way for amputees, women, and African Americans by filling the positions they don’t usually see themselves in. She believes that these are the roles they should strive for. Shima also mentioned that her future patients will be thankful to see a clinician who shares their background.
She was also able to complete her Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics at Alabama State University with the help of the Hanger Foundation Diversity Scholarship.
Following her graduation, she commenced her residency in O&P at Hanger Clinic located in Miami. She is presently collaborating with a varied group of exceptional prosthetists and orthoticists to inspire and support individuals in the community who have experienced limb loss or limb difference.
Shima expressed her enthusiasm for serving a diverse range of patients and demonstrating to them the importance of representation, as well as encouraging them to surmount obstacles and pursue their aspirations.
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