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Walking with William

In April 2017, Össur Australia held a Mobility Clinic at St Bernard’s College in Melbourne. The 2017 event saw over 140 amputees, physiotherapists, prosthetists, family and friends from across the country to take part in this positive, educational and fun filled event.

Sally and David White, and their son William, attended his very first Mobility Clinic and share their story with us.

In 2014 when our son William was two and a half years old we visited our local park so that William could ride his scooter. As active children do, he rode off, munching on his lunch without a care in the world. Then disaster struck. Time stood still and the noise was deafening. I could not see my child, instead what I saw was a massive fallen gum tree covering the pathway ridden by William many times before. The tree had landed directly on him.

William’s scooter was obliterated and our precious son was losing consciousness and out of reach. When we were eventually able to find him it was evident that his life was going to change forever. His whole life flashed before my eyes. I tried to stabilise what I could of William’s injured leg and body and prepared myself to give him CPR. It was the moments following this that I realised what an incredible young man we have, and he has proven this to us every day.

Following many surgeries, overcoming infections and an emergency retrieval to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide our son exemplifies the true meaning of a hero. As his parents we made a hugely agonising decision to have William’s right leg amputated below the knee in order to provide him with a greater quality of life.

William was cast for his first prosthetic leg whilst laying in an induced coma in the Critical Care Ward in hospital. We are very grateful for the dedicated team that surrounded William and our family during this time.

Three years on and we are in a far better place than we ever thought we would be. With a wonderful team still supporting William and exposure to amputee organisations, namely Limbs 4 Life, we are excited for his future. William has amazing tenacity and resilience; we feel it is our job to educate and expose him to the endless possibilities before him.

Earlier this year it was recommended that we consider participating in the 2017 Össur Mobility Clinic in Melbourne. We enrolled without hesitation as this was an opportunity for our whole family to be involved; important because of the impact of William’s trauma was widespread.

What is hard to convey in writing is the amazing impact the Mobility Clinic had on us all. It was an overwhelming sense of ‘belonging’, and something hard to describe. I could recognise that for the first time in his young life William was surrounded by ‘his own’, evident by his demeanour and the way he saw that everyone was just like him. He was motivated and so excited to participate in the team games.

Our proud moment was seeing him run with his newly acquired Össur blade, as he hadn’t run that fast and with as much confidence since the accident.

As parents we listened intently to the wonderful guest speakers, namely Joany Badenhorst, Liam Malone and Don Eglin who provided much inspiration and availed themselves to questions that as parents we needed to ask to set our son on the right path for his future. We met other parents in the same situation and that sense of belonging cropped up again. Candidly our children showed each other their residual limbs and were very proud of themselves.

William was taught to kick a football with Don Elgin, and the time spent with him was invaluable. He also acquired new skills and techniques in walking, balance and resistance training. We hope to attend the next Össur Mobility Clinic and no doubt watch William flourish yet again amongst greatness.

We thank Sally, David and William for sharing their story. And we look forward to following William’s journey over many years to come.

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