British gold medal winning Paralympian Alice Tai is “heathy, happy and thriving” after having her right leg amputated below the knee – an operation she has been contemplating for ten years.

Tai, 22, was born with bilateral talipes, better known as a club foot, and first considered the option of surgery when she was 13 to give her a better quality of life.

Surgeons asked the double medal winning Paralympian to wait until her body stopped growing before making a decision.

As the pain in her right foot worsened, Tai decided to go ahead with the operation for the sake of a “better quality of life.”

gold medallist swimmer has leg removed after 10-year wait as she shows off surgery

Alice Tai is a hugely successful Paralympic athlete

Explaining the process in a lengthy Instagram post, she said: “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 (13y/o).

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

“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’.

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gold medallist swimmer has leg removed after 10-year wait as she shows off surgery

Tai revealed the news on Instagram (Image: @alice__tai/Instagram)

gold medallist swimmer has leg removed after 10-year wait as she shows off surgery

The surgery was a success (Image: @alice__tai/Instagram)

“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. :)”

Writing a day after being discharged from hospital, Tai, who won an incredible seven World Championship gold medals in 2019, added: “The only down side was nausea for 24 hours post surgery (thank God for anti-sickness medications).

“The medical team who’ve been involved since the surgery are incredibly optimistic about my recovery. As am I!”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
“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!”

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