Completing a chemical engineering degree is an amazing feat but for one University of Calgary graduate, walking across the stage was about so much more than the degree itself.
At just 22 years old, Sara Elkady was in a serious crash that changed her life forever. It happened in late December 2016, near Pincher Creek.
“My family and I, all five of us, were on a trip to B.C. for the holidays. I was sleeping when the accident happened, so I didn’t see anything, which is kind of a blessing,” Elkady said.
“My parents passed away on scene after the crash and my sister passed away in the hospital a few days after.”
Elkady and her other teenage sister survived.
It was a rigorous recovery, where Elkady ended up losing her leg after complications.
She was in the middle of her chemical engineering degree at the time but persevered on, taking courses and completing her degree in a hospital bed.
“I’ve learned a lot of resilience and motivation from my parents. I’ve seen them demonstrate it over the years so much, even just moving and immigrating. I’ve seen my parents go through so much, all their obstacles and I think that’s what helped me get through.”
“I’ve always pictured them to be here on this day, but I can’t say that they’re not with me.
“I always think of them and I wear my parents’ rings on this necklace all the time,” Elkady said.
LISTEN: Sara Elkady joins Gord Gillies to look back on the accident that took her leg, parents and a sister, and ahead to graduating from the University of Calgary
She has already landed a job, but has her eyes set on accomplishing another dream: becoming an advocate and helping other amputees through their recovery both in Calgary and around the world.
At just 24 years old, she’s already overcome so much. Still, she’s amazingly optimistic and credits that to her family.
“I know they wouldn’t want me to be sad or upset,” Elkady said.
“I know they would want me to move on with my life and accomplish all the things I’ve been wanting to accomplish.”
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