Shields says she broke her femur while exercising in the gym in January, and then spent weeks in the hospital having multiple surgeries.
“It felt like it was all in slow motion. And then I just started screaming,” she said. “Sounds came out that I’ve never heard before. The pain was so excruciating.”
She “was so afraid” she was paralyzed while she was in the ambulance to the hospital. She had surgery to insert two metal rods, then needed a second surgery with more rods placed in her leg.
While recovering at home, she developed a staph infection and needed to return to the hospital for emergency surgery and three blood infusions.
Shields is now in physical therapy, learning how to walk again.
“For the first time in my entire life, I thought, ‘I can’t power through this,'” she said, adding, “I can’t even stand on my leg or go up a step. I need to relearn how to even walk. The feeling of helplessness is shocking.”