Tai ‘happy, healthy and thriving’ after operation

19 Jan 2022

Sharing details of a below the knee amputation on her right leg on social media, Alice Tai thanks those who have supported her throughout the journey.

Following discharge from hospital, Alice Tai has publicly announced the news of her below the knee amputation to supporters across her social media platforms, confirming she is ‘healthy, happy and thriving’ in the early stages of recovery.

The Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion turns 23 at the end of the month, and having missed last summer’s Tokyo 2020 Games with an elbow injury, chose to add detail in her statement as to the timing of a procedure first considered in 2012.

“Firstly I’d just like to say that I am healthy, happy and thriving so please don’t panic!” said Tai, conscious that few had known of the scheduled operation.

“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.

“I first asked my surgeons about the possibility of amputation in 2012 [aged 13]. There were no more corrective surgeries that could give me significant mobility improvements whilst reducing pain. At the time it was agreed that amputation was an option, but that they’d rather perform it after I’d 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’. Last year I realised I was wasting time - if a better quality life was possible (crutch free, less likely to wreck me arms), what was I waiting for? The plan was brought back into action and, after consultations, scans and tests, a surgery date was proposed. Now I have no right leg below the knee.

“The medical team who’ve been involved since the surgery are incredibly optimistic about my recovery. As am I! I also want to say a huge thanks to all my partners and support teams who’ve been here with me on this journey. The continued support through all of these surgeries means the world to me, words really aren’t enough. Thank you!”

Tai will continue to receive the support of the British Para-Swimming staff and medical team, with all at British Swimming sending their best wishes for a speedy recovery.