Woman Snowboards Again After Losing Both Legs in On-Slope Accident

Brent Thomas | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Trying the sit ski first to get back on the slopes. Credit: MDWfeatures/@abader.26/Bill Murf

Lexie Bader was 15 years old when she suffered a life-changing snowboarding accident. She was traveling approximately 20 mph and hit a tree. She broke her ankle, but it never quite healed correctly. Over the next nine years, she would have around 30 surgeries performed on it.

Lexie was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as if the previous nine years weren’t hard enough. CRPS is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. It typically develops after an injury, surgery, stroke, or heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury and caused by an injury to or difference in the peripheral and central nervous systems. For Lexie, there was no cure.

CRPS is considered the most painful chronic pain syndrome known. It is nicknamed the “suicide disease” because of the prevalence of people committing suicide due to the pain. For this reason, Lexie decided she wanted to amputate her leg rather than live with the pain.

Headed into surgery. Doctors thought Lexie was crazy, but she wanted a better quality of life. Credit: MDWfeatures/@abader.26/Bill Murf

Unfortunately for Lexie, the nerve disease spread to the other side of her body after her surgery and began to affect her other leg. CRPS occasionally spreads from its source to elsewhere in the body, such as the opposite limb.

She was devastated, as the pain was back, so she also decided to amputate her other leg.

Now she is equipped with two prosthetic legs, with various feet and blades that screw into the bottom of the sockets. She and her boyfriend make their own blades for the sockets so she can stay active doing the things she loves, like running, skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, and rock climbing.

Training to get back on the snow. Credit: MDWfeatures/@abader.26/Bill Murf

Most importantly, Lexis is back on the snow. She is now 26 years old, and this last season was the first time she got back on the slopes since her amputations. She was up on the mountain almost every weekend, and she had no discomfort.

It is a testament to her for making the tough decisions that ultimately led her back to doing the things she loves. She has a lot of life left to live, and now she can live it to the fullest. See the video below of her hopping, jumping, skiing, snowboarding, and golfing.

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