Faisha, a one legged Yogini
“My inner warrior kept me going “
Searching for quality yoga teachers for the new bu-evolution well-being community platform was quite a momentous task, so we were delighted when Faisha showed an interest and sent in her video CV for us to watch. We were instantly mesmerized by her athletic grace which clearly demonstrated she was an enthusiastic and committed yogini, we were instantly sold.
Uploading Faisha’s video and picture we noticed that she had a prosthetic left leg….. WOW! How hadn't we noticed this before? She hadn't mentioned this in our correspondence and on reflection why should she?
Faisha represents a monumental testament to a 'can do attitude' with a sprinkling of 'nothing is going to stop me from achieving my dreams', it is with my greatest pleasure to tell some of Faisha's story.
Born in Kuala Lumpur to a hard working close-knit family, Faisha was the eldest of three. She was bright and energetic; it was clear from early on that she was her own person with her own mind! Modest, yet bright and determined, Faisha excelled in her education and had an aptitude for numbers. She glided through early school life.
At the age of 6 Faisha’s Auntie noticed a change in Faisha's left leg which felt hotter than her right. Initially the family thought this was just a sprain from typical child behavior but after a visit to the hospital it was explained that she had too many nerves in the limb which resulted in surgery.
Although initially Faisha recovered it wasn’t long before the pain returned.
During the following school years the pain increased and around 12 years of age a wound appeared on the sole between her 2nd & 3rd toes which refused to heal. Faisha was also suffering from Eczema at this time, which was impacting her self esteem. A round of hospital appointments followed resulting in her first angiogram. Visits were made to various hospital departments; neurology, orthopaedic and dermatology. It was explained to Faisha that after her first surgery at 6 years she had been wrongly prescribed a certain medication which had resulted in rashes developing eventually into severe Eczema.
For the next two years Faisha was back and forth to hospital on a monthly basis, the consultants could not determine the exact cause of her problems. It was suggested that they carry out exploratory surgery to see if they could discover any problems but after her first surgical experience Faisha was not going to allow such a surgery without knowing exactly what the doctors were doing, she was understandably concerned that the situation had the potential of becoming even worse. By this time Faisha had a permanently swollen foot and the unhealed wound had developed into ulcers, all this was massively impacting on her day to day living.
One day at school, 17 year old Faisha found herself in absolute agony. She was on her way to attend an important exam only to discover her foot was now oozing blood, in her determination to complete her exam she strapped up her foot and wore comfortable slippers, and in this way Faisha managed to complete her exam.
By the age of 25 Faisha had been suffering with a swollen foot, severe pain, ulcers and bleeding for 19 years. Finally during another visit to the hospital a vascular surgeon saw Faisha and made the correct diagnosis of AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation). A vascular abnormality in which there is an abnormal direct connection between arteries and veins. The most common issues of an AVM are haemorrhage and pain. If left untreated, the bleeding can cause neurological damage and can be fatal. A large AVM can be stressful for the heart. The heart then has difficulty supplying blood to the whole body and heart failure can occur.
Faisha was offered an Embolization to help block the flow of blood to the abnormal capillaries, however she still preferred not to have it as she was told there could be a chance of death or gangrene and possibly losing the lower leg in the process.
Suffering from low self esteem, eczema and a wound that wouldn't heal, Faisha refused to succumb to being the victim and found solace with her life and accepted the status quo as she continued on as best she could.
Faisha had become used to what she describes as 'minor blood explosions'. However in 2012 whilst working for a leading finance company in Kuala Lumpur she was picking up her car, when her leg began to bleed terribly. She called her brother who came to collect her. By the time they got home there was blood everywhere in the apartment, lobby and elevator. This she describes as ‘the biggest blood explosion ever!’ By now the pain and 'blood explosions' were impacting her work life, she found she had no alternative but to work from home.
The pain eventually became too much for Faisha. Knowing she had limited options she decided to find the doctor who had originally offered her the embolization, she finally found him and announced that she was ready for treatment. The doctor took her in but regretfully explained that the window for this procedure had passed and the odds of success were now strongly against, he said the only option left was an amputation; this was met with a firm “No!” from Faisha.
The pain was having a great impact on Faisha's ability to perform in her well-paid job in finance, much against her managers wishes, Faisha felt she had no option other than to resign and dedicate more time to her health and recovery.
In 2016, 28 years after the first symptom, Faisha was finally beaten by the pain and surrendered to the unthinkable decision that she would have to have an amputation. On the 26th February, 2016 her leg was amputated to just below her lower left knee. After 5 days she was discharged.
Faisha's fighting spirit shone through this nightmare and after just 2 months she was already driving and in 7 months she received her first prosthetic leg, by 2017 she had begun to practice Pilates and Yoga.
A few months after her amputation Faisha met her now husband Robert, who had spotted Faisha on a social media post. Robert had suffered an ankle injury himself and being an emphatic man he sent Faisha a set of crutches, they met and fell in love.
Having a prosthetic leg gave Faisha a new found freedom. Faisha travelled to Europe and the UK and on her travels she delighted in trying all types of yoga, finally she made the decision to become a Vinyasa yoga teacher and joined a training program. During lock-down Faisha completely immersed herself in the 200 hours TTC online program and qualified in December 2020.
Faisha now lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband Robert and streams live Vinyasa online classes with bu-evolution twice a week.
We are blessed to have Faisha on the BU team, not only is she an asset to our inclusive platform inspiring us and her students, her commitment, determination and courage is a testament to the outside world that through the bleakest times anything is possible.
Thank you Faisha for shining a light that radiates through everything you do
bu-evolution is offering a free 15 class pass so you can try any of our teacher's classes including Faisha's by using this code “15classes” which you can find in the schedule @ www.bu-evolution.com