Healing path leads UNC student to degree

Posted December 14, 2014
Updated December 15, 2014

— Katie Savage’s journey towards graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Sunday has been one of healing.

When she was 14, Savage was a patient at UNC Hospitals, where a complication during heart surgery led to the amputation of one of her legs.

The life-changing event shook her confidence.

“I had stayed out of the classroom for years because I was afraid,” she said. “I was afraid of being in an academic setting. Why? I was afraid of being picked on. I was afraid of being different.”

In time, her anxiety and fear became a journey towards finding herself.

“If I could do things differently, I wouldn’t have cared what people thought and I wouldn’t have allowed others to have impacted me so much,” she said.

Savage realized she was more than just a girl with one leg, and that it’s OK to be a girl with one leg.

Her confidence led her to study political science at UNC. On Sunday, she was one of more than 2,000 graduates who received their degrees during the school’s winter commencement.

“The place where I lost so much would later be the place that has given me so much,” she said.


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  • Setnitst8 Dec 15, 2014

    What a nice story for a change. Way to go Katie!!

  • sjb2k1 Dec 15, 2014

    more stories like this one, please.

  • mjpack3 Dec 15, 2014

    All the respect in the world for this young lady. Congratulations on your hard-earned degree, Miss Savage. You will certainly do well in life, young lady.

  • Greg Boop Dec 15, 2014
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    Congratulations to Katie Savage. I expect that she will have great success in the future with her positive attitude.

    This is an excellent local story to see on WRAL. I hope to see more like it.

  • Grand Union Dec 15, 2014

    Well Done.

  • mys1983 Dec 15, 2014

    Good for her! I love that last sentence!