A woman on TikTok wrote a break-up letter to her foot and shared goodbye messages after being told that it would have to be amputated.
Jo Beckwith, a public speaker, amputee and mental health advocate who goes by @footlessjo on TikTok, suffered an ankle injury during a horseback riding accident when she was 13 years old.
After 14 years of “surgeries, procedures,” and everything else in-between, Beckwith realised that the pain she was experiencing was constant, leaving her with a hard decision.
Having consulted all possible options to remedy her fractured ankle, Beckwith was told she could keep her foot as is and live with the pain (which she described, in her own words, as the most “logical option”) or have it amputated.
The second option, which doesn’t come without risks, afforded Beckwith a better chance of doing all the things she’s passionate about, such a going on a hike or taking her dog out for a walk, without any aches or pains.
With careful “consideration,” she ultimately decided on the amputation in 2018, a “life-altering “decision she knew she couldn’t come back from, but not before she threw a “goodbye party” for the moment.
She noted that the night before her scheduled amputation, some friends of hers stopped by and wrote fun and lighthearted messages on her foot in such a troubling time.
Some of the messages stemmed from “Bye-bye little piggies” to “Have a nice trip.”
“Have a nice trip!"Photo courtesy of @footlessjo/TikTok
Certainly, Beckwith also had to join in and write a message of her own, taking a spin on the language of break-up woes, and wrote, “It’s not me, it’s you.”
“It’s not you, it’s me.”Photo courtesy of @footlessjo/TikTok
After wishing her foot a ‘fond farewell’, Beckwith decided to draw a scissor and dotted line pattern around the ankle for good measures so the surgeon would be aware of “which ankle to take off.”
Beckwith further noted how “incredibly therapeutic” it was for her to have a “goodbye party” to her foot before its removal. She also mentioned that she had “so many messages” on her foot from those closest to her, which was encouraging.
The messages that came into #amputation with me! #funny #therapeutic #disability #amputee #fypシ
People who’ve been following her story took to the video comments to praise her for her strength.
“This is such a creative way to handle this. I have so much respect for you!” someone added.
“You handled this so well. I love that you came up with this! It actually makes sense how this could be therapeutic!” another added.
Someone else thanked her for discussing “such a difficult decision.”
“Thank you for sharing such a difficult decision with grace [and] humour. Hopefully, your videos will help others who may be facing similar circumstances,” they wrote.
Despite this, Beckwith faced complications after surgery because of “a fall” and had to go back into surgery to remove her leg.
But nearly three years later, she is happy with the way things have played out, having a prosthetic leg that allows her to move around and continue to do what brings her joy.
In conversation with Indy100, Beckwith spoke about embracing what life has to offer.
“I’m focusing on actively enjoying my life right now and settling into a new normal - the past few years have been filled with a lot of big things, and I felt like I was in survival mode 24/7. But as things have evened out and I’ve figured out a new normal, I’m working on relaxing into that and delighting in all the little things like being able to walk my pups and enjoy the gorgeous Colorado hiking,” she said.
She further noted that she will tackle new things such as “jiu-jitsu” and potentially “competing” as she continues her “public speaking career.”