As a registered nurse who used to spend 90 hours a week on her feet, losing part of her leg was exceptionally difficult for Paulina Archibeque.
But just over a year after the amputation, the 49-year-old of Wichita, Kansas, was able to run her first full mile with the help of a prosthetic.
“To me, it was going to be embarrassing, I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to do it,” Archibeque told ABC News. “I was afraid I was going to trip because my foot doesn’t bend on the prosthetic.”
In December 2015, Archibeque underwent a conventional foot surgery and soon after developed compartment syndrome, in which pressure builds inside an enclosed muscle space in the body. It led to a loss of blood flow throughout her right foot and lower right leg, and the leg had to be amputated below the knee in January 2016.
On Tuesday, Archibeque decided to run a full mile after training up to six days a week following the initial amputation. An involved member of the community, she was accompanied by 11 others who cheered her along the way. Friends also lined her running route. Together, they finished the run in less than 12 minutes.
As a mother of four with two grandchildren, Archibeque said that the hardest part of the amputation initially was not being able to chase her 1- and 3-year-old grandsons around like she used to be able to.
She said she will keep working and has already set another goal of completing a 5K in Wichita in May.