The Real Housewife offers lessons from her personal experiences.  

on Apr 24, 2013 - The Dish

The Real Housewives of New York City star Aviva Drescher knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a limb.

The bombshell blonde Housewife lost her foot at six years old after getting her leg caught in a farm conveyor belt during a sleepover at a friend’s house. Years later, she chose to have her whole leg amputated below the knee for a better prosthesis fit. And while the accident certainly caused extreme pain and fear for Aviva, she has a message of hope for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings who are now amputees.

“To the adults I would say, you know for starters, be grateful that you’re alive,” Aviva told The Dish. “And while it seems like your life has been turned upside down, I promise you on my other leg that you’ll be OK! I can assure you that not only will be you be OK, that you’ll be much more than OK. The human being has an incredible ability to adapt, and with prosthetics today, they are going to be just like everybody else. Sometimes some people have to wear glasses to see. Some people have to wear a back brace so they don’t have pain. Some have to wear special shoes. Well these people are going to have to put on a limb to walk. It takes 10 seconds to get in it, and 10 seconds to get out. In time, it’s going to feel like putting on a pair of glasses in the morning.”

But on that road to rebuilding one’s life, things can feel pretty dark.

“When you get wheeled in on a stretcher and you wake up after surgery and you’re missing a limb, it can feel like life is over,” says Aviva, who in the 5th grade overheard her mother say ‘I hope she can have children. How is she going get up in the middle of the night and take care of a baby?’ In 5th grade when I heard my mom saying that, I was at that point worried about my future. How will I do those things? I had so many drugs in the hospital. Will anyone love me?’

Aviva, by the way, went on to show the world she can do all those things and more. She served as the captain of her high school volleyball team, graduated from law school, and went on to have four healthy and happy children. But if there was someone like herself on TV back then, things may have been a lot easier.

“If only there had been a silly reality show on TV about a bunch of Housewives, I would have been much more confident as a child. That is why I took this TV show -- to show the kids and pre-teens who are in physical predicaments they can do whatever they want to do. At the expense of being a silly caricature, I hope I’m helping people,” said Aviva.

The key to surviving the emotional and physical struggle after losing a limb is all in about how you look at life, says Aviva.

“It’s that attitude. I think in life, if you just sort of accept that life is unfair, and your expectations are managed accordingly, then you’re going to be happier person,” said Aviva. “As a victim of it, once you accept life is unfair and you’re handed a shit sandwich once in awhile, you go forward.”