Morgan Stickney started competitively swimming at a just 10 years old. In 2013 she broke two small bones in her big left toe, a seemingly harmless injury, that after 3 more years of swimming through the pain caused her to stop. Faced with a staph infection and a lifetime of painkillers, Stickney opted to have her leg amputated below the knee in 2018. As a part of her rehab, she started swimming again but less than a year later she fractured her right foot. The blood flow in her leg was cut off and while there isn’t an official diagnosis for her unique situation, she refers to it as vascular necrosis, or the death of the bones. In 2019 her right leg was amputated below the knee. After years of pain and confinement to a wheelchair, Stickney was free to get back to what she loved. In 2020, she dove back in and started training for the 2024 Paralympics. When the games were postponed, she seized the opportunity to fulfill her dream and make it to Tokyo.
Away from the pool:
Stickney continued taking classes on and off throughout her recovery process and is working towards a career in medicine one day.
In their own words:
“A little over a year ago I couldn’t even walk. I was just sitting in a wheelchair without legs. We have all these videos and pictures of me at Spaulding (Rehabilitation Network in Boston) learning how to walk as a bilateral amputee and it’s pretty incredible to see how far I’ve come in a year.”
“If I’m having a hard day, I love looking back on it thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I couldn’t even walk up a ramp a year ago and now I’m doing my thing. It’s cool to see, especially because I feel like people in the para community have been the way they are for a long time. I’m so new, so to be able to swim with them is so amazing.”
“I think the biggest thing for me is I’m so grateful for everyone in my life. I really wouldn’t be where I’m at without the amazing people in my life. And so, I’m just thanking them and trying to spend time with them before I go to Tokyo and just training as hard as I can to see where I can go.”
“I’ve been through hell the last few years, but I’m stronger because of it. Hopefully I can show others that, although life isn’t perfect, you can still find happiness.”
- Sport: Swimming
- Limb Difference: Bilateral below-knee
- DOB: June 1997
- Residence: Bedford, NH
- Classification: S8