Paralympic swimming champion Alice Tai 'healthy, happy and thriving' after foot amputation

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British Paralympic swimming champion Alice Tai said she was "healthy, happy and thriving" after having her leg amputated below the right knee - an operation she has been considering for the past decade.

The 22-year-old gold medallist was born with bilateral talipes, also known as club foot, and first asked her surgeons about the possibility of amputation when she was 13 years old.

"Over the last few years, the pain in my right foot has worsened. Both of my ankles are fused and arthritic but my right one has always been more troublesome and (comedically) non-functional.

"There were no more corrective surgeries that could give me significant mobility improvements while reducing pain.

"At the time it was agreed amputation was an option, but that they'd rather perform it after I stopped growing. Since then it's never really left the back of my mind and I was just waiting on a good time to 'fit it in'."

She said last year she realised she was "wasting time".

"If a better quality of life was possible (crutch free, less likely to wreck my arms), what was I waiting for?" she said.

Tai spent five days in hospital before being discharged on Wednesday morning.

"The medical team who've been involved since the surgery are incredibly optimistic about my recovery. As am I!" she said on Twitter.

"I know a lot of people probably didn't see this coming; very few people knew. I wanted to make sure the surgery was successful before sharing."

Tai claimed gold and bronze medals during her Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 but missed out on Tokyo 2020 due to an elbow injury.

After returning from the Rio Games, she truly announced herself on the world stage in 2019 when she won an incredible seven gold medals at the IPC World Para-swimming Championships in London.

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