NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Jodi Richardson is back on the road to recovery, both physically and mentally.
The Nacogdoches woman was in a bad car wreck a year and a half ago. Nerve damage led to a leg amputation eight months ago. For Jodi, the horrific loss of a limb led to the discovery of a promising future.
"You just step in it," Richardson said as she attached her prosthetic leg. "Pull it up. And I'm ready to go."
She makes it look as easy as putting on shoes.
"It's like now I have two shoes again, and I can wear my socks again," Richardson said,
The amputation came months after July 9, 2015, when Richardson drove her car into a tree. She said she took too many sleeping pills. The accident left her with 14 fractures and nerve damage to the left knee. Depression set in.
"I was hurt. I was lonesome. And I …" Richardson said, pausing as she got emotional.
The Nacogdoches woman resorted to illicit drugs. This wasn't a good place for a woman fresh off drug dependency.
"I couldn't quit going down that hole," Richardson said.
Richardson reached to Burke. Counselor Stephanie Knott got her case. A bond developed.
"She's not going to sugar coat stuff for me," Richardson said. "She goes, 'You're going have to work.' I said, 'Alright. Let's go. Let's get this process going.'"
Richardson's confidence grew. She made the brave decision to have her leg amputated. The Nacogdoches woman knows for a lifetime she'll have to work her body to accept the change. Her mental health is also a lifelong issue.
"Yes, you're going to wake up one day and be very depressed and not get out of bed," Knott said. "That doesn't mean you're going backwards. It means, hey today is a rough day for my depression and take it a little bit lighter."
Richardson is returning to her gardening, a passion that keeps her body and mind alert. She's resuming construction on a home, and a high school friend is helping with daily chores and responsibilities. Life is better for this survivor who wants to encourage others.
"Just reach out. You know, you have nothing to lose," Richardson said. Nothing to lose and everything to gain."