In March 2017, Ben, a 40-year-old ground worker, visited his GP as he was suffering from cramp in his calf. By September it had been discovered that Ben had a blood clot at the back of his knee, and following an unsuccessful artery bypass operation in December 2017, Ben made the brave decision to have his right leg amputated below the knee.
Adjusting to life as an amputee took an enormous toll on Ben’s family life and mental health. Ben explained, “my recovery was going ok but then I went home and had to adjust to life as an amputee, seeing myself in the mirror, struggling to shower and use the stairs all left me feeling worthless, with no confidence at all”. After struggling with his initial prosthetic limb Ben sought to try a BladeXT in conjunction with a vacuum socket and felt the difference straight away.
“As soon as I tried this new setup I instantly started smiling, the socket felt amazing and the BladeXT was definitely a life changer for me.”
Ben has now been able to continue with his recovery and enjoys the gym and running, something he hadn’t even tried before his amputation. His newfound interest in fitness got him thinking about starting an online shoe store for others with unique footwear needs. Ben’s online shoe store is not like the usual shoe shop you would expect as it not only sells shoes in pairs, but also supplies single shoes for amputees who only require one shoe, and odd sized shoes for those that wear a brace, with the aim to help as many people as possible.
His goals for the future are to participate in as many races as possible and enter a disabled bodybuilding competition. Ben is awaiting further surgery for his condition but in the meantime he is focusing on enjoying what he is able to do with his new prosthetic blade.
To find out more about BladeXT or to arrange a consultation please speak to your prosthetist.
For more information on how to access support if you or someone you know is experiencing limb loss you can contact the Limbless Association for advice and information; Helpline: 0800 644 0185; www.limbless-association.org