Healing path leads UNC student to degree
Posted December 14, 2014
Updated December 15, 2014
Chapel Hill, N.C. — 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.