Brother Turns Accident into Inspiration
Uriah Steffen’s life changed forever with a single bicycle ride. “I’ve never had any issues, anger, or fears with the amputation. I trust that God has a plan for me and will take care of me,” said Steffen (Epsilon Rho—Purdue ’06).
He was riding to work in Plainfield, Indiana on a fall day in 2012 when a pickup truck struck him head-on. The impact “de-gloved and broke both bones in [his] lower left leg,” forcing the amputation of his left leg below the knee.
A year and a half of surgeries and struggle soon followed, as Uriah worked to overcome additional complications, including poor blood flow and infections, with a total of 15 revision surgeries. “It was very much a struggle to get through that,” said Steffen. “The depression was very real.”
Uriah credits the support of his wife and family in his journey to make peace with the accident and accept his new reality. “The peace and love that I have experienced far outweighs the hatred that I once held inside.”
Physical exercise has become both an outlet and an antidepressant for Steffen, who inspires with his commitment to racing and cycling. He has run a 5K every month this year and plans to participate in the 2018 USA Paratriathlon National Championship in Wisconsin next month.
Eventually, his goal is to ride on the U.S. Paralympic cycling team. The pursuit of these dreams has enhanced Uriah’s work as a mentor to other members of the amputee community. He serves as a Patient Advocate at SRT Prosthetics & Orthotics, an organization that specializes in holistic care for amputee patients.
“God presented an opportunity, opened some doors for me to express love to other people and just give them hope, give them motivation,” said Steffen. He now resides in Plainfield with his two daughters and wife, Angela, whom he married just three months prior to the accident.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Uriah. “I know for a fact my life is better today than it ever would have been.”