‘The Challenge’ Star Nelson Thomas Gets His Right Foot Amputated; Posts Photos & Updates After Surgery

Warning: This story contains some medically graphic photos. 

Nelson Thomas says he’s “trusting in the journey ahead” after having his right foot amputated earlier this week. 

As The Ashley previously told you, The Challenge star suffered severe injuries as the result of a near-fatal car accident in March 2023. The 35-year-old was later arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated for the incident.

Despite undergoing numerous hospitalizations, surgeries and physical therapy sessions over the last year in an attempt to save his right foot/ankle, Nelson revealed last month that he would be having his foot amputated March 5– exactly one year after his accident.

Nelson took to Snapchat Wednesday to let fans know he was doing well following his surgery on Tuesday and that he was not in any pain at the time. Joining Nelson in his hospital room were members of his family as well as his swim coach. 


“I’m doing ok man, I’m doing ok,” he said from his hospital bed. “I’m so happy to have my family here to keep me in high spirits.” 

Nelson also took to his Instagram Story to share his reaction to seeing his leg for the first time after surgery. 

“Facing my right leg for the first time, I’m moved to tears,” he wrote. “Yet, I choose to channel that emotion into a prayer, seeking strength from within and trusting in the journey ahead…”

As Nelson had his bandages changed, he told his doctor and nurse that he was already “talking to a coach about [competing in] the Paralympics” in August of this year. 

“What do y’all think?” Nelson asked, to which his doctor replied, “You’d be a miracle, man.” 

“You don’t think I could do it?” Nelson continued. 

“I do,” his doctor said. “I’m not going to say you can’t do anything … [that’s] just how motivated you are.” 

Nelson recently told fans that he had made peace with the decision to have his lower leg and foot amputated, but he claims that wasn’t always the case. 

“When I woke up in the hospital after my car accident, I said, ‘Mom, if I can’t walk again, I don’t want to be here. If they got to cut my foot off, I don’t want to be here,’” he told People last month. “I wouldn’t even let people say the word ‘amputation’ around me. I didn’t even want to think about that.”

He also told the outlet that, after finding out in October that efforts he had been making to heal from his accident were not working, he turned to the pain pills he had been prescribed throughout his recovery. 

“I closed my door, locked myself into a room and was just crying and screaming into my pillow and asking, ‘God, why me? What did I do to deserve this?’” Nelson revealed. “You just start thinking about all the mistakes you’ve made in life and thinking that God is punishing you. All those demons that you put behind your head and you feel like you buried come alive.” 

Nelson admitted that the public’s reaction to the news of his DWI arrest caused him to “break again,” calling that moment “the worst time of my life.” The ‘Challenge’ star said he then had to deal with the fact that he “caused this” himself. 

“ … Do you know how many times I got to look at myself in the mirror and blame myself for everything?” Nelson said.

Nelson also began therapy during his recovery, despite once being “scared” to do so. 

“I’ve realized the more you try to bury it, it’s going to come out one day and it’s going to ruin you,” he said. 

Click here to watch Nelson’s post-surgery update. 

RELATED STORY: It’s a Girl! ‘The Challenge’ Stars Kam Williams & Leroy Garrett Welcome Second Child: See the First Baby Photos

(Photos: SnapChat; Instagram) 



  1. He’s an attention w**re. He wants to go on the challenge and be applauded for being disabled and competing, he wants to be Jordan so bad. I don’t believe anything he says or does because it’s so disingenuous.

  2. “What did I do to deserve this?”

    Well, you made the choice to drive under the influence and now you’re facing the consequences of your own actions.

    Not trying to be insensitive here, but that statement right there shows an incredible lack of accountability and self-awareness. Having a victim mentality when you got yourself into that situation is really annoying. You are lucky you didn’t kill someone.

  3. Maybe instead of working towards some kind of athletic achievement, he should start working towards developing a sense of personal accountability. He should be determined to take true responsibility for the shit he does, own that and not this whole “new me” he’s trying to force so he can stay in the limelight.

    The first step, admitting he’s an addict while actually owning that, not just bragging about it like it’s a fantastic life achievement, and getting proper help if he can’t do it on his own (and most addicts can’t), to overcome that obstacle. While doing that he can be held legally and fiscally responsible for his life choices-as all people should be (although “celebrities” are far less likely to be held accountable)

    He’s focusing on all of the wrong things (as are those encouraging him), while still trying to make sure he stays relevant in the public eye. The public needs to quit buying into this kind of bs, because that is exactly why so many people have repeat DUIs and never get held accountable. A turn of his wheel in the other direction could have (and likely will, next time) easily killed people. That’s extremely serious not just a “oops, good thing I didn’t hit someone, he he”, moment. He still really doesn’t grasp the severity, he’s busy changing the narrative.

  4. “ … Do you know how many times I got to look at myself in the mirror and blame myself for everything?” Nelson said.

    Well, I mean if the shoe fits…..

    He got drunk, he got into a car knowing he was drunk, he caused the accident. He lied about the events to make people feel sympathy for him.

    Who does he want to blame? The guys who risked their lives pulling him out of the car? the pillar that he hit?

    He still isn’t taking an accountability for the things he did. Thank god he didn’t kill an innocent bystander.

    1. All of what you said! I really do hope he learned his lesson & for everyone who says it was a mistake that he made, no it was a decision he made. We have had it drilled into us that drinking & driving is wrong, but yet he, & countless others make the choice to do it. I do wish him well in life, but he did do this to himself.

    2. If he doesn’t start taking real accountability, and isn’t held accountable by others, he will kill someone the next time.

      He thinks being an addict is a life achievement, one worthy of smiling and joking about. He hasn’t yet reached the point of owning his addictions, and no one around him seems to want to even acknowledge it either.

      People like that will *always* hurt someone, and some of them still won’t care when they do. Changing the narrative is easier than personal responsibility, because responsibility is painful and at times costly.

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