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Life as an amputee: From being stuck inside to jet skiing

Armed with increased mobility, Feros Care North Adelaide participant Scott is shooting down barriers on the way to reaching his goals.

Whether it be going bush to compete in gel blasting with his son, riding his mountain bike or hitting the water, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant has found a new lease on life in reconnecting with his passions and hobbies.

Through the assistance of Feros Care and the NDIS, Scott has been able to find the right assistive technology and supports required to thrive after years of struggles following a leg amputation. The loving father and family man said he was now able
to get out in the community again and participate in familiar activities, and those he hadn’t thought possible to do before.

“I feel more whole as a person, husband and father,” Scott said.

“I am not the person lagging behind that everyone has to consider; I am now one of the active people in the family and not thinking ‘can Scott do this or that’.

“I’ve been jet skiing using my wet leg; and I’ve got a new prosthetic leg which has a fully articulated foot that adjusts to uneven ground, and I can walk without it hurting, so my son and me are getting into gel blasters, and we
go every fortnight to play.”

Also enjoying the likes of bushwalking and heading to the movies, Scott said simply just spending time with his family and getting out into the community had been activities which were unattainable prior to the NDIS after his life was turned upside
down following years of arthritis, pain and problems stemming from a four-wheel-drive accident in 2005.

After the decision was made to amputate his leg in 2010, Scott faced years of financial stress while trying to continue working, endured years of pain stemming from stitch and staple complications on his stump , and became isolated and withdrawn in
his private life, with inadequate equipment, support and concerns over being able to mobilise safely.

“It became incredibly hard working so much, and when it came to after work or weekends, I was on the couch and didn’t want to move,” Scott said.

“The leg I received from the Free Leg Scheme was heavy and substandard for a physical job in hydraulics where I had to be mobile, but I had to keep going as I had no access to financial or other supports.

“One time at work, the foot snapped off my leg; I had a wheelchair, but it had two flat tires, so I had to get on an office chair and push myself to the car, then hop in and go to hospital and scoot in on the chair again.

“So, I turned into a hermit for seven years and just stopped doing a lot of things. I always sat on the sidelines, but that has totally changed now through the NDIS and everything I have now.”

Outside of his prosthetic leg and wet leg, Scott, 44, is receiving support to ensure he can safely mobilise, participate in daily activities, and perform self-care tasks.

These supports include access to therapeutic support to identify and obtain required assistive technology and maintenance, receiving required, complex home modifications to his bathroom, and support with home maintenance
and gardening.

“The home modifications are in the process of being completed now,” Scott said.

“I used to have a tiny bathroom, but that’s been opened up now, and they removed the bath and put in a new toilet for me. We’re getting handrails everywhere, and before I had nothing in place and had to hop into the shower…
it was just so dangerous and I hated showering, but now I’m getting a new shower, and the modifications make the house all accessible for me.

“I’m also receiving a custom-made wheelchair, and it will be fantastic knowing I can have a day off my leg and still be able to get out.”

Scott is also raising the bar for others, through a volunteer role with Adelaide disability service, Determined 2, he is working towards becoming a trained Immersion Therapist specialist, where he is able to support
and encourage other people with disability and/or injury, including other NDIS participants.

Closer to home, while he jokes that wife of 20 years, Amie, was still around just for the benefits of disability parking, Scott said he was eternally grateful for her unwavering support, through which he “wouldn’t be able to do any of
the things he’s done”.

Combined with the love and support of son Cooper, 14, and daughter Lilly, 12, Scott said he was loving being able to do everything he can with his family while being able to ensure they can have treats, engage in sports or enjoy outings, which
were all previously “out of reach”.

Outside of family, Scott also feels the love for the NDIS, his occupational therapist “Jack”, who has assisted greatly in the process, and Feros Care, particularly through his connection and confidence in Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Jackie.

Hoping he has “Jackie forever”, Scott said her efficiency and support has helped him connect with services and technology to maximise his plan and support, on his way to reaching his next goals.

“I’ve had elbow injuries, three shoulder reconstructions, elbow and tendon surgeries and carpel tunnel, and I’m unable to work for now, so my goal at the moment is recovering,” Scott said.

“But before the NDIS, I had to break equipment before being considered for an upgrade, whereas now, they’re offering things I hadn’t even thought of to make my life better.

“That comes through Jackie… she helps me to access the best supports possible, and she has just been fantastic.

“I can’t wait for the next chapter of my life.”

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