WHAT bonds this group together is a collective experience of something missing.
Ballarat Amputee Group president John McGregor says every member has a different story to how they came to became to be an amputee, but they can offer each other advice and support from life experience in the journey afterwards.
“We don’t give (medical) advice, we’re not medical professionals but if there’s a question you may feel reluctant to ask, sometimes it’s easier to ask someone who’s been through it,” Mr McGregor said. “Our members volunteer in peer-support. Amputees are selected and paired up with prospective amputees or those returning into the system.”
Mr McGregor, who is a long-time above-knee amputee, said those with the longest experience tended to have had a car crash or accident years ago. But mostly members were from complications with diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Ballarat Amputee Group hosted a barbecue at Ballarat Health Services Queen Elizabeth Centre in a bid to help empower amputees for Limbs for Life’s national amputee awareness week.
Mr McGregor said much had changed for amputees in his 50 years’ experience, particularly when it came to technology. He started out with a willow prosthetic in what was an uncomfortable skin on timber fit. This is a vast contrast to modern carbon fibre models or the titanium rods that mimic skeletal functions options.
Limbs for Life aims to ensure no-one need go through limb loss alone.
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