Summer 1997 Mission

What disability?
Active patient wears out prosthesis


Eloise Gonzales wasn't sure her friends would still want her on their four-woman golf team after she lost her left leg below the knee to vascular disease. She also wasn't too sure she could still play well enough. But her friends insisted that she go with them from San Angelo to a course in San Saba one early morning. The course was foggy. She had gotten used to the prosthesis made for her in San Antonio and could stand her ground and hit the ball, even if she couldn't pivot her left foot the way she used to do. She teed off with a long drive, maybe 140 yards. "I saw it go toward the green," she recalled. "But when we got there, we couldn't find it. We looked beyond the hole and off to the sides. Finally, I asked someone to go look in the cup. It was there," she laughed. "Word started spreading among the other golfers. 'The lady with the peg leg hit a hole in one,' they were saying." Mission Mission

It's not her favorite thing to be called, but she can laugh about it. Five years ago, after several years of worry and 22 physicians, Mrs. Gonzales finally underwent an amputation of her left leg in San Antonio. The doctors are still puzzled as to why the circulation in the leg deteriorated. "I'm taking medications to help keep my other foot and leg in good shape," she said. "Since the surgery, I've been asked to talk to other families and patients who have had amputations. I try to show them that this didn't end my life. I asked God to help me and He did. I can still do a lot. I take care of my mother and play golf and visit with my five great-grandchildren. Because of this, I've been able to experience things and meet people I never would have any other way. Things happen for a reason. I feel blessed."

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