Two big surprises on the same day

INSPIRATIONAL Donegal woman Nikki Bradley is celebrating her engagement following a surprise proposal at the weekend.
It was a cause for double celebration for cancer survivor Nikki, who revealed she got engaged to her partner, Ian Parke on her 36th birthday. The couple live in Milford.
A survivor of rare bone disease Ewings Sarcoma, Nikki is an adaptive adventurer and motivational speaker, telling her own cancer journey story to help others.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Nikki said the last few days have been a “rollercoaster of emotions”, as she also received her long-awaited date for amputation surgery on her right leg on the same day she got engaged.
“I found out about my surgery on Friday and I got engaged that night. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. I had been waiting for a date for my surgery for so long, and with Covid and delays I was expecting it to be put back but it has been set for February 7.
“On the Friday night, Ian and I had been discussing the future and lots of things. We’ve been together quite a while and we had talked about such things but when Ian turned to me and asked me to marry him I didn’t think he was serious, but he was,” said Nikki.
The following day the couple went to Callaghan’s Jewellers in Buncrana, where they chose a stunning ring.
“We chose Callaghan’s because we had heard so many good things about them, they came highly recommended. It was great to have the time to speak with a lead jeweller. The whole experience was lovely.”

Nikki’s engagement ring.

At just 16 years of age, Nikki was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. Having received treatment for the cancer, Nikki’s hip was left permanently damaged by radiotherapy treatment.
But, Nikki has never allowed her disability to stand in her way, and in true grit and determination has undertaken some gruelling hiking challenges with use of walking aid as part of her awareness campaign, ‘Fighting Fit for Ewings’.
Nikki made the difficult decision to have her right leg amputated some months ago. She will undergo Rotationplasty surgery in Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital.
Even though her mum will travel to England with her, Nikki will not be permitted any visitors in hospital during her two to three week admission, due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“I found out just the other day that I won’t be allowed any visitors in hospital, and that will be tough. It’s just the way of the world due to Covid.”
Rotationplasty is a surgery for bone cancer near the knee. A surgeon removes the middle part of the leg. The lower leg is reattached at the thigh but rotated 180 degrees. The ankle joint functions as a new knee joint.
“I will spend a few days in ICU after my operation and then I will be moved onto the ward.”
In an ever positive outlook, Nikki is looking to the future.
“I am hoping that this time next year I will have a shiny new prosthetic leg and that I will be back to adaptive adventuring.”

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