When Patrick Kelly had a double-amputation, it was a life-changing experience, but support from the Limbless Association has helped him get his life back on track.
Patrick is a retired electrical engineer and lives in Corby with his wife Evelyn. After years of discomfort and pain from an old injury to his right foot, he had his lower leg amputated in September 2020. An infection in his other foot resulted in the amputation of his left lower leg, just seven months later.
The operations and subsequent time spent in the hospital left Patrick feeling very low. He is very grateful to Evelyn for her wonderful support, despite being unable to visit him during his treatment due to Covid restrictions.
The first time Patrick stood up in 18 months after the fitting of his prosthetic legs.
He explained, “When I had my second operation, I thought it was the end of the world. I couldn’t stand up for 18 months. Then someone said to me ‘don’t look at what you can’t do – look at what you can do’ which helped me to focus on my recovery.
“I was at the Northampton Enablement Centre to get a cast for my prosthetic legs when I picked up StepForward magazine from the Limbless Association charity, which provides free information, advice and support to amputees and their families across the UK so no amputee need cope alone.
“I decided to become a member, which is free for amputees, and they sent me a pack of useful information. I’d never been on Zoom before, but I joined their weekly online ‘Hub Chat’ group and I haven’t looked back since!
“It’s run by the Limbless Association’s Outreach Team and I talk to other amputees from across the UK. Everyone is really encouraging and I’ve learnt so much – from simple things like putting a plastic bag over my prosthetic foot to make it easier to put on my trousers, to how to claim a reduction on my Council Tax.
“It’s great to meet people who have been through a similar situation. Tracy is one of the LA’s Outreach Co-ordinators and a bilateral below-knee amputee like me. I think ‘I will walk again – if Tracy can do it, why can’t I?’ which inspires me to keep going.”
Patrick advises anyone with a similar experience to find out what support is available to them. “Joining the Limbless Association has been well worth it. My confidence as an amputee has increased and I know that help from them is only a phone call or email away. It’s great to have that back-up and support.”