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Latest News 4 January 2021

Brian's positivity boosted after Blesma Support

A wheelchair access ramp part-funded by Blesma is helping a new amputee live independently once again.

Brian McGuffie, who served in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, found himself confined to his house during lockdown after his left leg was amputated below the knee in April.

Limb Centres were temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the process of Brian getting a prosthetic limb fitted was put on hold. Confined to his home, Brian turned to Blesma for help.

“I told my Support Officer, Kevin Long, that I couldn’t get in or out of my house because of our steps,” said 52-year-old Brian, who began experiencing excruciating pain in his left leg in August 2018 due to artery failure in his foot and ankle.

“Kevin told me Blesma would be able to help with a ramp. Now it’s so easy to get out there with my electric buggy and take the dog for a walk. It’s given me my freedom back. I’m so pleased.”

After three months of waiting, Brian was finally seen by the prosthetics department at Colchester General Hospital at the end of July, and received his prosthetic leg in August. He has now started the process of learning to walk again, and has hired a personal trainer to help.

"I was quite confident after the initial walk. I had a ‘You can’t stop me. Don’t worry about giving me sticks’ attitude, but I’ve learned quite quickly that the journey isn’t going to be easy.

I’m suffering a lot with blisters and wounds from the socket, so I need to take it slowly. I’m progressing well, but I won’t be doing John O’Groats to Land’s End any time soon!"

Now that he is walking with the aid of just one stick, Brian is content with his decision to have had an amputation, and credits his Army career for his positive attitude to recovery. He has already been helping new amputees in the hospital think more positively about their amputations.


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