BACK IN THE SADDLE: Sicamous amputee riding again thanks to custom built trike | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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BACK IN THE SADDLE: Sicamous amputee riding again thanks to custom built trike

Jackie Paul's Victory Kingpin motorcycle has been made into a trike.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Jackie Paul

A Sicamous motorcycle enthusiast who had her leg amputated last fall is getting back on her bike next week for the first time since the operation.

Jackie Paul is not letting her limited physical abilities prevent her from doing what she loves the most, riding her motorcycle, a Victory Kingpin she calls Pearlgirl.

“I named her that because she is pearl in colour and she looks like a girl, all sparkly and shiny,” Paul said.

In order for Paul to ride with one leg, Pearlgirl had to have a makeover, going from a bike to a trike with custom additions to allow for Paul to safely ride and transport crutches. Having never been on a trike before, Paul is excited to try something new and get back to biking, and she has her motorcycle community to thank for it.

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“I did a lot of research and couldn’t find anyone affordable to custom fabricate the bike,” she said. “Friends in my motorcycle community, Bikers for Buddies, were able to confirm a great, affordable fabricator in Alberta for me and get my bike there. They are incredible.”

The bike was turned into a trike and a small chrome saddle was added to support Paul’s prosthetic leg. Brackets were added to carry Paul’s crutches along with a widow maker shifter for shifting with her hand instead of foot. Paul is happy with the new look.

“Pearlgirl is beautiful,” she said. “If you are going to ride, you have to look hot and this bike looks hot.”

Paul said riding a trike will be a different and new experience.

“The biggest thing is there is no need to put your legs down, you don’t have that leaning stuff to do and it can be a lot more secure,” she said. “I have never ridden a trike, but I have spoken to women that have them and they just love them.”

Sicamous resident and leg amputee Jackie Paul doing physio in a pool in January, 2022.
Sicamous resident and leg amputee Jackie Paul doing physio in a pool in January, 2022.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Jackie Paul

Paul had a below-the-knee amputation at Kamloops Royal Inland Hospital as a result of an aortic aneurysm in October 2021. After waiting for weeks enduring repeatedly postponed surgeries, the first amputation was not enough to get rid of the dead tissue and she ended up with an above-the-knee amputation.

READ MORE: Sicamous woman survives 'nightmare' medical ordeal that resulted in leg amputation

She returned home in December, 2021 and was fitted for her first prosthesis in January this year.

Paul has been riding a motorcycle for decades and said the biking community is a large, supportive family, and many members want to help her get riding again.

She is currently getting better at using a practise prosthesis and will be receiving a more advanced one that comes with knee sensors soon.

Prostheses cost tens of thousands of dollars, have to be replaced every decade and are only partially covered by the government and The War Amps.

“I am so grateful for everyone who has been a part of my journey,” Paul said. “I’m at a place where I’m walking short distances without a cane, I’m moving along and getting stronger. I’m counting the days until I’m ready to get on my bike.”

You can help with the cost of Paul’s prostheses here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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