A teenager who dreams of being a ballerina has been helped on her quest by experts from a ground-breaking BBC Two show and Dorset Orthopaedic.
Pollyanna Hope, 13, was just two years old when she lost her leg in a horrific accident, which killed her grandmother, Elizabeth, and seriously injured her mother, Sarah.
Despite undergoing more than 20 operations in the last ten years, Pollyanna has never given up on her ballet dreams but while she’s reached an exceptionally high standard, she’s now being marked down in exams because she cannot perform some moves, including going up on her toes, known as demi-pointe.
However, thanks to the team of the BBC Two show The Big Life Fix and prosthetists at Dorset Orthopaedic — which has clinics in Ringwood and Burton-on-Trent — her dreams are back on track.
The Big Life Fix follows a team of engineers, designers and inventors as they try to find ways for people with illness and disabilities to improve their lives. In Pollyanna’s case, it was engineer Yusuf Muhammed who came to her rescue, building her a prosthetic foot to allow her to go up on demi-pointe.
Yusuf took advice from Dorset’s prosthetics experts, Richard Hirons from prosthetics manufacturer Ossur — which provided the components — as well as from Pollyanna’s dance teachers and others from the ballet world to work out what would be best for her at her age and abilities. He created a prosthetic foot which could go point downwards into a demi-pointe stance at the touch of a button.
Christopher Hope, Pollyanna’s father, said: “We loved working with the Big Life Fix and Matt Hughes at Dorset Orthopaedic. Hopefully the prototype leg will push forward the science in this area and mean that ballet legs with adjustable ankles can be made generally available to anyone who needs one in the not too distant future.”
Matt Hughes, Clinical Services Director at Dorset Orthopaedic, said: “It was an absolute delight to be a part of this special project to get Pollyanna to the next stage of her ballet career and we wish her all the luck in the world as she pursues her dreams.”
For more information about Dorset Orthopaedic’s range of products and services, visit www.dorset-ortho.com
About Dorset Orthopaedic
Dorset Orthopaedic is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of prosthetic, orthotic, silicone and rehabilitation services. Established in 1989, Dorset Orthopaedic — which has clinics in Hampshire and the Midlands — operates under its ethos of “Strive for Better”, and helps clients live life without limits. As well as having comprehensive experience in meeting the needs of complex cases, it is also a world leader in silicone skin solutions. It prides itself on providing total rehabilitation for its patients, a bespoke service and attention to detail.
For further details, visit www.dorset-ortho.com