Fere Humble has always made a point to live life on her own terms, and that only became more important to her after a traffic accident in the summer of 2013 left her with an eventual above-the-knee amputation of her left leg. Since then, she’s refused to live a life with any limitations.
While driving her motorcycle to meet her mom in downtown Toronto, Humble was struck by a distracted driver, when she lost her left leg the first time. In a panic, the decision was made without Humble to reattach her leg, but ultimately, her limb did not regain function. After spending three months in hospital bedridden, Humble was finally able to have her leg amputated, and was up and walking around just a week later.
“Having my leg removed and getting a functioning prosthetic was life-changing,” Humble says of her experience. “After being bedridden for so long, I had become very depressed and just wanted to start moving around again. My prosthetic leg is truly magic.”
Humble’s determination to not only get back on her new feet, but to go back to her life as it was before the accident, has carried her through her recovery with enthusiasm and a new outlook on life. It’s also carried her all the way back to work.
Having worked for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) as a driver for years before her accident, Humble had no intentions of letting a missing leg stop her from returning to her previous position. And while it was an uphill battle to get back on the road – both professionally and in her personal life – she was determined to not let anything get her way, and it paid off.
“If I wouldn’t have gone back to work, the driver who hit me would have changed my entire life,” Humble says of not backing away from adversity. “I want that change to be on my terms, not someone else’s.”
It took two years for Humble to have all her licenses reinstated – including her G-class, motorcycle, and eventually her CZ bus driving license – and a lot of self-advocating, but she’s now back to work, driving for the TTC. Her triumph doesn’t come without its hardships, though.
“I get a lot of complaints from people who don’t think I should be driving with one leg,” she says. “I have had zero instances in my 15 years driving for the TTC, so I know I’m more than capable. I’ve become so used to the complaints, but for every one negative comment, there are 10 other people who are really supportive of me.”
The best thing that has come from her accident is Humble’s new lease on life.
“I used to be pretty silly with the things I did, but now I’m even sillier,” she jokes. “I did everything on my bucket list after my accident, and now I’m doing them all again because I can. I live so much more of a fuller life now than I did before.”
Humble’s continuous kindness, witty sense of humour, and relentless determination gets her through life’s ups and downs, whether she’s working or playing.
“I always say when I get behind the wheel, I’m going to make a difference in someone’s life; even just one person,” she says of her job. “I always go to work with a goal to make everyone happy; which never works,” she laughs.
Humble’s life has only gotten better with time, as before the COVID-19 pandemic, she was back to doing everything she was before – with the exception of skating – and she was doing more than ever. When she wasn’t driving for the TTC, Humble was whipping around on her motorcycle, parachuting out of planes, and fitting as much adventure as possible into her life. COVID-19 has changed a lot of things for a lot of people, but as life opens back up, Humble will no doubt be right back into her adventurous lifestyle.
“Life is beautiful,” Humble says frankly. “It’s only you who can make the decision on how hard or easy everything will be. And I choose to live life with humour and kindness, no limitations, and always on my terms.”