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Triumph over tragedy: amputee Shawnita Furbert fulfils big-race ambition

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Shawnita Furbert (Photograph by Colin Thompson)

Shawnita Furbert achieved a remarkable milestone on the road to recovery from serious injuries suffered in a traffic collision by participating in the Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby.

Against great odds, the 53-year-old made her debut in the island’s biggest road race four years after suffering multiple fractures to her pelvis and femur, and having the big toe on her right foot amputated in the wake of a head-on collision on South Road in Paget.

Furbert was treated for her injuries at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.

Her teenaged son, who was also on the bike, suffered a cardiovascular arterial tear that required surgery at Lahey Health Clinic.

Despite the ordeal, Furbert fulfilled her ambition of taking part in the Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby, finishing tenth in the women’s 50-59 age group and 477th out of 557 finishers in 2hr 41min 49sec.

However, she refuses to take all the credit for having done so.

“‘I just want to glorify God because without God I would not be able to do this,” Furbert told The Royal Gazette. “It is His strength.

“This is my first May 24 and I was determined to overcome. I am a warrior and through Christ can do all things and I just give Him all the glory for why I am here today.”

Furbert said she put her mind, body and soul into achieving her objective.

“It was a challenge, it was difficult,” she added. “But as they say, you have to put the work in to train.

“I just had to discipline myself to train and, because I was also a diabetic, had to lose weight and change my eating habits. So, basically, every day mind, body and soul just working together to do this.”

Furbert completed her task without incident and thoroughly enjoyed the big occasion as she made her way to the finish line at Bernard Park.

“My leg behaved itself; I told it it can’t act up, not today,” she said.

“It was a great atmosphere and I just took my time. I basically enjoyed it.”

Asked does she see herself as a role model for others dealing with physical disability, Furbert said: “Yes and I want to represent them, too; anybody going through any type of circumstances whatever it might be.

“Yes it’s challenging. Yes it’s difficult, but we must not give up.

“Look to God and he will give the guidance, strength and wisdom.”

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Published May 28, 2022 at 7:57 am (Updated May 28, 2022 at 12:37 pm)

Triumph over tragedy: amputee Shawnita Furbert fulfils big-race ambition

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