At 15:04 on Wednesday 7th September was the moment Hannah bought home her first prosthetic leg. After suffering with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for several years, Hannah recently underwent surgery to have her leg amputated. Being young with a disability has been difficult for Hannah, she has come up against the preconceived perceptions that people have about amputees. However, with the help of her Steeper prosthetist, Caroline Clark at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and her new Trulife Seattle Kinetic Edge Foot, Hannah is quickly getting back on her feet and enjoying doing the things that have been absent from her life for so long.
In 2012, Hannah underwent a routine procedure that triggered Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The condition had life changing effects on Hannah and put a stop to her doing everything that she had loved before; she could no longer finish her catering college scholarship, the karate she had a black belt in was impossible, even putting the duvet over her leg resulted in excruciating pain. Due to the severity of the pain, treatment for Hannah consisted of her lower leg being cast and dressed all whilst under general anaesthetic. The treatment was carried out 53 times in 68 weeks, and as such her health deteriorated because of the volume of medication. In a bid to become pain free, Hannah went against the advice of her practitioner and opted to have her leg amputated. For patients with CRPS it is not advised to have an amputation, due to the likelihood that the pain will return in the residual limb. However, fortunately for Hannah, the pain has not returned and instead, she can look towards a pain free future.
As a new amputee, Hannah was confused about all the different legs and the benefits that each one would give her. Having been wheelchair bound for significant periods of time with her CRPS, Hannah wanted to ensure that her new leg would be able to assist her in getting back to an active lifestyle. With the help of her Steeper prosthetist Caroline Clark at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Hannah chose the Trulife Seattle Kinetic Edge. This foot is ideal for a new amputee like Hannah with an ever increasing mobility; the multi-axial function of the Kinetic Edge means that Hannah will be able to be as active as possible as quickly as possible.
The turning point
The first time Hannah put on her prosthetic leg and walked one length of the parallel bars at the clinic was when she realised that her life had changed for the better. After not being able to walk for the last two years, to now being able to stand up on two feet she was overcome with emotion; crying tears of happiness and joy. In a short period of time Hannah has progressed fantastically, with the help of her physiotherapist, Hannah is relearning how to walk properly and hopes to be walking unaided in a matter of weeks. After a long and difficult journey, Hannah has shown incredible strength of character and determination, all of which now she is hoping can be put towards her future and her dream of competing for Team GB and the Paralympics.
Hannah’s second socket fitting took place at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital with her prosthetist, Caroline. Watch here and hear how Hannah’s prosthetic leg created a turning point in her life.