Meeting someone before a selective amputation, where the person must make a decision to amputate a leg or not, is always a situation one must handle in a positive, sensitive and understanding way.
I met Gert Cronje four and a half months ago, where he struggled with a non–union fracture of his left leg. He was in a moonboot for a long period and was exerpiencing ,lots of pain and discomfort.
He came to see me for more information regarding a prosthesis, and life with a prosthesis.
If I meet a person with such a long painful struggle (whether it is a diabetic foot, arthritis or fractures) and he/she can’t live a normal pain free life, I always feel positive suggesting a better life as an amputee.
Gert is the best example to follow and living proof that making that huge decision can change your life for the better!
Everything was well thought through; we had a conversation with the Orthopedic Surgeon about what we need before and after amputation. Gert then followed a strict post op plan to shape and shrink the residual limb (stump) after amputation, and seven weeks after amputation we fitted Gert with his first temporary prosthesis.
The one thing that every new amputee must know, is that volume loss in the first six to twelve months plays a huge role. The residual limb gets smaller and smaller, and for this reason, we had to fit Gert five times in four months to accommodate these volume changes.
Today, Gert is completely rehabilitated, has attended several physiotherapy sessions, and lives a pain-free life while walking around as he likes!
When someone is considering amputation, I never take the decision lightly. It's instances like that gives you hope, where you maybe feel that there isn't any.
Gert, thank you for you amazing attitude!