A Single Mother’s Perseverance

Tiara Cottle

As a speech-language pathologist, Tiara Cottle is always on the move. She spends most of her days traveling between Homestead and North Miami to assess and treat children with communications disorders. A single mom to a beautiful 11-year-old daughter, Tiara feels like her job is a natural fit.

But life wasn’t always so simple. In fact, Tiara’s world was turned upside down in June 2015 when a severe accident nearly derailed everything she loved.

Tiara was playing with her daughter at a playground when she decided to jump over a metal fence. As an active runner, it seemed insignificant, but unfortunately, Tiara’s right foot got caught – and the jump changed her life forever.

She suffered an open compound fracture to her right tibia and fibula, requiring months of treatment. There was a legitimate fear she could face amputation.

Thankfully, she was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center, where she received the best care possible.

“Through the efforts of each staff member and Jackson’s team of physicians, I still have my right leg. I continue to push myself every day to regain full mobility of my foot,” said Tiara.

She spent a total of 77 days at Jackson Memorial Hospital recovering from her injury. Unable to walk, drive, or be active with her child, Tiara was nearly overwhelmed by the challenges that lay ahead. She needed to undergo blood transfusions, multiple orthopedic and plastic surgeries, as well as skin grafts to patch up her leg. The physicians at Jackson relocated portions of her calf muscles and skin from her upper thigh in order to repair the damage. Her treatment also included several hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments to speed up the healing process.

“The recovery process required my acceptance of what had happened,” she said. “Through perseverance, strength, prayer, and determination to succeed, I am forever thankful to the team and staff at Jackson.”

Even after all the adversity, Tiara remains upbeat and positive. With each passing day, she searches for new ways to adapt her leg function to meet her day-to-day needs.

“Don’t ever forget what you CAN do, because it’s easy to think about what you’re unable to do and let those thoughts cloud your vision of what is possible,” Tiara said.

As for what advice she would give to potential patients at Jackson, Tiara recommends they “get to know their medical staff and tell them the truth about their health history and concerns.”

“Through the positive challenges the Jackson team posed on me, I have a new lease on life,” Tiara added.

Learn more about Jackson North’s full-service programs, including rehabilitation.