Just over 10 years ago when I was 14 I suffered an accident while indoor go-karting where the kart left the track and crashed into a solid track side barrier. The impact of the crash and the opposite force of applying the brakes shattered my ankle, fracturing and rotating the talus bone by 90° and breaking several other bones in my ankle.
Major surgery followed and because of the seriousness of the injury I was wheelchair bound for three years. This meant that at the age of 14 I was unable to go to school and had home tuition for the two years leading up to my GCSE exams.
Complications meant that the blood supply to my ankle had been affected causing the foot to drop and the bone to die. More surgery followed where I had a metal cage built around my leg from toes to knee with a number of pins drilled through my leg with pistons attached. These pistons had to be turned daily for 6 months to raise the foot back into position. This solved the foot problem but as the bone had died my leg had stopped growing, this meant more surgery. The cage went back on for another 6 months but this time the leg was surgically broken and the pistons turned every day to stretch the leg and stop the bone healing until the leg had reached the correct length, I also had a double ankle fusion at the same time in an effort to stop the pain from the ankle joint rubbing bone on bone.
Unfortunately these efforts were in vain, I still had problems walking and the pain and high levels of medication were getting too much and were seriously effecting my quality of life.
I then took the brave decision to elect for a below the knee amputation, on July 4th 2013 (ironically Independence Day) I underwent surgery and lost the leg.
Rehab was tough but I battled through it and learned to walk with my artificial leg but I now needed to move on and try and regain my lost confidence and fitness. After a lot of persuasion I agreed to try Crossfit and signed up straight away. The Crossfit Nottingham coaches (click)
have been fantastic with advice and scaling but the problem I am now facing is that my prosthetic leg is not compatible with exercise and is causing problems with my joints in my good leg and knee and hip in my bad leg. Unfortunately as good as the NHS have been they haven’t got the funding for a specialist leg.
A video was recently uploaded on You Tube from the Working Wounded Games in America
This is a Crossfit competition for adaptive athletes and what they could do was amazing. This has inspired myself, my family and Crossfit Nottingham to try and get a specially adapted leg to enable me to perform better with less pain and wear and tear on my body and maybe compete sometime in the future. In order to do this we need to raise around £8000.