David was an enthusiastic motorcyclist and keen conservationist when he was involved in a serious road traffic accident in 2015. Here, he shares his journey with limb loss and the VV programme…
I had always been an active person in life – I was a keen motorcyclist first and foremost, but I’d had a successful career in precision engineering, followed by completing a degree in wildlife conservation in 2003, spending time in Borneo and Danum Valley fields research stations.
But everything changed on 2nd August 2015 when my wife and I were returning from a motorcycle show in Cornwall. We were hit at speed by a car, and both of us sustained severe injuries. Whilst in the ICU ward, I was told that my leg had been lost almost immediately, and nothing could’ve been done to save it.
Initially, I was not strong enough to start using a prosthetic leg and had to be carried in and out of our property as I began to attend my local limb fitting centre. After some physiotherapy, and getting used to a rehabilitation leg, I finally gained an Ottobock C leg, which enabled me to be mobile.
I had joined the Limbless Association by this point, and had begun to attend their Hub chats, and heard about the Volunteer Visitor programme this way. To me, it was common sense – helping other people who are also going through this situation. I thought it was a great idea for amputees to help other amputees.
The training was excellent, run by true professionals who organise all the interactions and videos and Zoom meetings, which are great fun. I am a big fan of education so found it interesting – it’s fun to learn and you’re never too old to stop. The training allows you to develop appropriate ways to support other amputees.
Doing the VV role is a buzz – the excitement of helping others always will be, and it’s great to know you can help people to turn their lives around to positives.
What I’d say to anyone thinking of applying for the VV role is – do it, the experience is fantastic and you’re always learning, and it’s great to be able to pass on knowledge as well.
I’m now back on my bike, joining in with lots of LA activities and finally meeting up with other LA members this year. Life is busy, and I’m proud of my role as an LA Volunteer Visitor.