When Vickie N. stepped on a stone while doing yard work in the summer of 2015, the last thing she was thinking about was her heart. And why would she? At age 48, she was healthier than she’d been in a long time — finding out she had type 2 diabetes had motivated her to become vigilant about diet and exercise.

“Over the last 10 years, I’ve lost about 160 pounds,” she says. “I went from a size 22-24 to a size 10. So I really worked on myself, followed a healthy diet, and worked out on my elliptical machine and exercise bike a few times a week.”

Vickie was an independent, on-the-go woman. She owned a hair salon where she worked between 10 and 12 hours a day. Instead of relaxing like many parents do when their kids leave the nest, when her 23- and 21-year-old sons left to join the Navy and Marines, respectively, the Texas native became a foster parent and started taking in children ages 5 and under.

On top of all that, she was also in the process of going through a divorce, so she had begun renovating a rental property for her and her foster children to move into in the near future.

Then Vickie stepped on that stone. She developed a sore on her left foot. At first it seemed to be healing, but after walking barefoot through steel rainwater on her porch, Vickie noticed swelling. She visited her doctor, who referred her to a podiatrist.

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