LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The ice-skating world is celebrating the #GetUpCampaign in February. It’s a way for athletes to celebrate the grit and resilience it takes to return to the sport after a setback.
Ashelen Lund Course, a Las Vegas-based figure skater, is the epitome of that. She’s beating the odds after a devastating foot infection.
Course is 20 years old, and she’s been skating since she was only two. She travels around the world going up against other top athletes in her sport.
“I’ve done so many competitions I can’t even count,” Course said.
But recently— her dreams of competing in nationals in November were crushed when she developed extreme pain in her ankle.
“Turns out I had this staph infection on the bone of my ankle,” Course added.
Doctors say the infection was so serious she could have lost her foot.
“My life was like falling a part in the sense that this is my life and my career, because I’m also a coach, I’m a skating coach,” Course said.
Course credits Dr. John Brosious and Dr. Evan Childers for saving her foot and her ice-skating career.
“She had an infected cyst, and what ended up happening was this cyst basically got so badly infected that it ended up destroying the skin of her ankle,” Brosious said.
After the infection was cleaned and clear, it left a wound so severe you could see Course’s tendons.
Doctors were faced with the decision on whether or not to operate. Because Course is so healthy, they decided to wait it out.
Three months, a boot, and lot of patience- that was the prescription.
“When you tell a young athlete, especially at the level of competing that she is with skating, no weight bearing for three months… that’s a big deal,” said Childers.
That decision paid off because the wound healed, but it felt like Course was starting over on the ice.
“I had no balance, no strength, nothing,” Course added.
Through months of hard work, patience, and perseverance, Course says she’s gained most of her strength back. She’s back on the road to greatness with the goal of returning to Nationals this year.
Course will represent Great Britain during national competitions as a citizen of the country.