The female Marine vet who has developed a lasting friendship with Prince Harry, is now recovering and fighting back from a second amputation.
25-year-old Kirstie Ennis — who suffered multiple injuries in a 2012 helicopter crash in Afghanistan — had a touching moment with Prince Harry several months ago at Buckingham Palace. Following her “triumphant end” to a 1,000-mile journey through Britain, Ennis handed the Prince dog tags that belonged to a lost colleague of hers. A very emotional Harry gave the fighter a huge hug, saying “I can’t, I can’t accept this.”
Following that trip, her left leg was amputated below the knee, then just before Christmas, she had to undergo an above-the-knee amputation and suffered a few setbacks.
“… I almost felt robbed. It was one of the most bitter things. There have been days when I have woken up crying. I felt I had lost something, something I wasn’t prepared for.” She became sick with fever, her leg began to swell and tests found she was septic – which can be fatal if not treated. She also picked up MRSA, the life threatening antibiotic resistance illness.
“But then you realize you are still alive and fighting. You don’t realize how strong you are until you have to be.”
After the second amputation surgery, Ennis began making tremendous progress and is starting the new year a different person. Ennis says she’s waiting for her wound to heal a bit more before getting in the pool to prepare for the Invictus Games. She did start rowing, however, a couple of weeks ago.
“I’m just feeling it out now. I’m a little off balance because of my leg but I have to get used to that. But I’m back at it.”
In May, she plans to travel to Orlando for the Paralympic-style Games for injured, wounded and sick servicemen and women — which Prince Harry brought to the States. She’s also looking ahead to when she can have a new knee and leg fitted, People Magazine reports.
Ennis has a huge support system: her parents, younger sister and boyfriend — a fellow Marine vet and triple amputee. “Watching him overcome the little things in his day is inspiring and motivates me too,” says Ennis.
“I’m a little competitive, so when I see him doing something, I want to do it better maybe!”