Colleagues of a Flatbush elementary school teacher who lost her leg to a hit-and-run driver last year are holding an online fund-raiser to help her buy an advanced prosthetic limb she calls her “dream leg.”
Diana Salmon — who was nominated as PS 109’s “Teacher of the Year” just days before the tragic incident — was struck while she was unloading groceries from her sister’s vehicle on June 30.
The mother to two, whose daughters witnessed the horrific accident, said the last thing she remembers before waking up in the hospital was praying and putting her faith in God that she would have peace, whether on Earth or beyond.
“I believe in God and I prayed,” said Salmon. “I asked for three things — I asked for my girls, I asked for them to pray, and then I finally asked to just have peace for what I was about to deal with, not knowing what peace meant — it could have meant peace after death.”
The doctors amputated Salmon’s leg above her knee the next day. Salmon said when she woke up in the hospital with her friends and family around her, she knew in her heart that her leg was gone but she was just happy to be alive.
“Everyone was whispering and crying — they didn’t know how to bring the news to me,” said Salmon, who was active with spinning, kickboxing, and running before the accident. “To wake up and know that I’m alive was enough for me. I was just so grateful.”
In October, Salmon was fitted with a prosthetic leg that allows her to walk, and she returned to the classroom on Dec. 1. She is still an active person and recently even started indoor rock climbing, but she said her current prosthetic leg doesn’t allow her to keep up with daughters.
The online fund-raising campaign, started by Salmon’s colleagues two weeks after she returned to work, hopes to raise $365,000 to purchase a sophisticated prosthetic leg with a bionic knee that closely mimics the functions of the natural joint, which would allow her to return to some semblance of the active lifestyle she enjoyed before the hit-and-run incident.
“I call it my dream leg because this really allows a person with my activity level and beyond to allow people to live life like they once did — or as close to they once did,” she said.
Her insurance company will not cover the cost of anything beyond the most basic prosthesis, so she’s on her own to try and make herself whole.
“It’s unfortunate that they look at it as a ‘luxury’ because it’s not,” Salmon said.
The campaign has raised $12,521 so far from 134 donors so far.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/superteacher.