A Galway student who lost both legs in a road accident five years ago has vowed to help others like him after discovering a new lease of life with the Ottobock C-Leg 4.
Kingston University engineering student Alex Dainty, 26, was home for Christmas in 2012 when a drunk driver hit him and pinned him against a wall, resulting in the loss of his legs above the knee.
Since then, it’s been a tough time for Alex as he tried to negotiate his new life, and maintain his studies. But this year, his wait to reach the top of the NHS waiting list for a Microprocessor knee (MPK) came to an end when he received two of the groundbreaking C-Leg 4’s, and he is now looking to a more independent future, helping others.
He said: “When I first started university I wanted to be an engineer in the car industry but following my experience I came to understand the sheer amount of development that is still to be done in the world of prosthetics. While the C-Leg is light years ahead of anything I have tried before, I want to be part of prosthetics development and improvement. I want to make a difference and use my experience to make the lives of others better.”
In the months and years following the loss of his legs, Alex was initially issued with basic mechanical knees, which he struggled with, and then with “stubbies”, shortened prostheses to give the wearer a lower centre of gravity and consequently more stability. However, while these gave Alex more independence, he became very self-conscious.
“I’m a very open person and as a young bilateral amputee we’re not known for being particularly shy. But you do get sick of people looking just at your prosthetic legs. They’re staring at one body part and not noticing the rest of you,” he said.
Today, since being issued with his new Ottobock C-Leg 4 prosthetics through the NHS, Alex’s confidence — and ability — has soared.
“With my old prosthetic legs, I could feel where the limits were and it never felt like it would be worth it for me to try and push those limits. I was too afraid of getting hurt. With the C-Legs, the performance and the technology behind them, means I finally feel that they can keep up with me and whatever I want to do,” he said.
The C-Leg 4 is the latest version of Ottobock’s pioneering MPK prosthesis, offering its users improved mobility, a reduced risk of falls and therefore improved general health and wellbeing.
Alex, who is close to completing his Masters, and plans to study for his PhD, concluded: “As an amputee, the Holy Grail is being able to get around without thinking. Before, it was exhausting always being alert and aware to avoid stumbles and falls. Now I can focus on the people I am with and the world around me.”
For more information about Ottobock’s range of products and services visit www.ottobock.co.uk
Ottobock is a world leading supplier of high quality, innovative and practical solutions that restore human mobility and help people to rediscover personal independence. Ottobock is part of the Ottobock global group of companies established in the UK in 1976. Its wide product range includes high quality prosthetic and orthotic components, wheelchairs, rehabilitation and mobility products available through the country’s leading clinics and dealers. For private patients, Ottobock offers a full range of rehabilitation services at our private clinics across the country. With a highly motivated and skilled team of professionals offering expert advice, product sales, service, support and medical care, Ottobock solutions enhance the physical comfort, confidence and mobility of the individual.