Who are you?
My name is Sydney Marshburn and I am a recent above-knee amputee and the newest edition to the Lindhe Xtend Ambassadors! I am currently the Events & Outreach Manager at the Range of Motion Project (ROMP) and an amputee mentor at Click Medical. My life goal is to qualify for Team USA’s Para Alpine Ski team.
What’s your story?
Before my amputation, my body had been dealing with multiple life-threatening conditions and had been in survival mode for years. Four months before I became an amputee, doctors told me I would have to accept being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. As a 22-year-old, this news was hard to process. Prior to my medical conditions becoming severe and unmanageable, I was a competitive swimmer from age nine to my senior year of high school; I led a very active lifestyle. In 2017 I was formally diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a progressive genetic condition caused by a defect in collagen. From that point on, my life revolved around hospital visits and surgeries. Ehlers-Danlos complications and its co-morbidities ultimately led to the amputation of my left leg.
In 2017, I had my first spinal fusion surgery. The operation was successful but left behind a rare complication called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in my left leg. I was being burned alive from the inside out. CRPS caused infections that would last 7 months at a time and would be made worse by the EDS (every time I dislocated/subluxed my left ankle or knee I would be left on fire for months). This happened for 4 years: ages 18 to 22. It got to the point where I couldn’t even sleep in my own bed or wear pants because having anything touch my skin made it burn even more. My condition progressed no matter what we tried. Doctors initially dismissed me but my blisters, swelling, and pain became too intense to ignore.
In August 2021, my leg became infected (due to the CRPS) and it started spreading. My surgeon said he would not be able to save my knee or anything below it and it would have to go ASAP, as it had become life threatening. 36 hours later, I lost my leg.
What does Xtend Your Life mean to you?
To me, “Xtend Your Life” is a mindset that means I have the tools necessary to live my life to the fullest. I plan to make the most of any situation that comes my way. The Lindhe Xtend prosthetic foot allows me to expand my limitations and adventure further than I ever could with two human legs.
Follow her on instagram @Sydneym87