Tayla's story: The Wolves Foundation saved me

By Mark Orlovac 3 Dec 2023
Premier League Kicks, Tayla Page

Football coach had her leg amputated four years ago and is now inspiring others at disability sessions run by Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Four years ago, Tayla Page reached a turning point. For six years she had been suffering with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in her leg, which left her in excruciating pain and unable to engage in everyday life.

In 2019 she elected to have her leg amputated above the knee and since then she has not looked back. She is now a role model and an inspiration for other disability participants as a coach at the Wolves Foundation.  On International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023, this is her story.

(Warning: This story contains references to suicide)

"CRPS is very rare and it's mainly caused through trauma but they don't actually know what caused mine.

"It got to the point where my leg was sensitive to everything; wind, bedsheets, water, anything. It was dead. It had no pulse; it was black and purple.

"It took away everything. I was bed bound. I had no friends. I couldn't go to school. It took over my life.

"I was suicidal because I thought that no-one was listening to me. I couldn't cope with the pain.

"We found a professor that was willing to help. The first thing he said to me was, 'If you were my daughter, I'd have it amputated.'

"I knew then that it was the right decision. It was the best decision I've ever made because I'm out of pain and I'm able to live life.

"I've always loved football and used to play when I was younger but when this happened, I thought, 'I'm not going to play football again.'

"I'd heard about the Wolves Foundation and the idea of coaching sounded really good.

"I started volunteering with them and in November last year I became a casual coach which is amazing.

"I coach a pan-disability team and to get that opportunity is mind blowing really. I never thought I would be in this position.

"Just seeing the faces of the participants, the joy that they have of playing football and just how much it means to them, it's amazing to be able to be part of that.

"Being around people with different disabilities, you get to know them and how they cope. I guess I'm there to support them and be a role model.

"I don't see myself as an inspiration, I just see myself as living my life. I don't see myself as that kind of person but I've had so many people say that to me and it means a lot to hear that from them.

"The Wolves Foundation don't care if I have a disability. They want you to be part of their team and just want to be able to help you in any way that they can.

"As well as coaching, I am about to begin a university degree with them. I can't wait to get started.

"The future that's unfolding is massive. My goal is to have a team of my own and be a full-time coach.

"Looking back, I don't know how I got through those six years. I really don't know where I'd be because I wasn't confident, I didn't have anything.

"It is hard to put into words what I feel about the Wolves Foundation because they've done so much for me so to me. They saved me."

Premier League Kicks, funded by the Premier League through the Premier League Charitable Fund, uses the power of football and sport to inspire young people to reach their potential, in some of the most high-need areas in England and Wales.

More than half a million people have benefited to date.

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