User Stories

Enjoying life to the full

Adventurous family man

Client Len standing next to a cannon close to the sea.

Born in Australia in 1962, Len’s life was “honky dory”.

In December 1992, his life changed dramatically when, while doing his regular job on the trains at the local Steelworks, he was involved in a terrible accident.

The horrific multiple injuries resulted in the loss of his right arm through the shoulder and his right leg through the hip with multiple skin grafts.

His mobility was initially restricted to a specially modified wheelchair and Len had little knowledge of prosthetics. He was first provided with a simple arm prosthesis with a hook that was controlled by cables and strapping on his back.

While he was keen to start walking it was not until 6 months later when his hip grafts healed that he had his first fitting of a leg prosthesis. In June 1993 Len’s life became so much easier as he learned to walk again with his prosthesis and no longer needed his wheelchair!

The following year Len was fitted with his first electronic arm and was then able to once again perform many 2-handed tasks. While both leg and arm prostheses were very functional, they were not cosmetic. Fortunately, Southern Prosthetics had a long existing partnership with Dorset Orthopaedic in England who are renowned for making life-like silicon coverings for prosthetic limbs. Len’s artificial arm and leg were fitted with these covers and when Len first saw them said they were “unbelievable, fantastic out of this world!”

They had real looking skin, hair, nails and even freckles! He even had 2 legs made, one with a summer tan and one with a winter colouring.

Now Len is able to go out with his beautiful wife Carol and his children without people even realising that he has lost his arm and leg. This is so important for Len as now he feels he can get on with his life after surviving his terrible trauma.

He has since taken up surfing with the Disabled Surfers Association as well as sailing. He says if there is not enough wind when he is sailing, he takes off an arm or a leg to make the boat go faster!

Len always likes to tell all the wonderful people at SPAO that work on his prostheses how much he appreciates their skills and compassion.

SPAO–Southern Prosthetics and Orthotics

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