Try this simple experiment: Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes around. Feels normal doesn’t it? Now, imagine that you couldn’t feel anything when you did this. Such is the case with an individual who has no toes.
Put yourself in the shoes of an amputee. Yes, amputees can still wear shoes, they also wear dancing shoes, karate suits and even find themselves kicking around in the boxing ring, although their toes are made of something other than flesh and bone.
In South Africa there are 1.5 amputees per 1000 persons. That doesn’t sound like a great deal in the overall scheme of things but, statistics are not what we are concerned with. Here, we are concerned with the people behind the statistics.
Contrary to popular belief, most amputees are not war veterans like the ones you see in movies
Reality is not Hollywood. So, even though there is a lot of hype in movies, contrary to popular belief, most amputees are not war veterans who lost a leg in the Gulf War, the Bush War or any other war for that matter. These are nothing but complete myths most of the time. In fact, approximately 80% of amputations happen due to such conditions as diabetes or vascular disease.
So, if you have questions about what life is like as an amputee, keep reading as we introduce you to some of Roger’s amazing patients. You might just be surprised.
Meet (Roger, do you know this gentleman’s name? we need to insert it here……), a below knee amputee and a real force to be reckoned with as he shows off his boxing skills in Roger Wolfson’s consulting rooms.
Now meet ‘The New Karate Kid’ whose Karate moves demonstrate that true power lies in a person’s willingness to use mental discipline and sheer determination to overcome all obstacles.
Able in the disabled parking facility
Next to arrive on the scene is Phillip Herbst, an above knee amputee who is a banker by day and a domini with a difference. Philip strongly believes that only ‘you’ can create positive change in your life. He maintains that when you have had an amputation what is important to remember is that once you are fitted with a prosthetic you get your independence back.
Says Philip: “You will never struggle for parking at a rugby or soccer event. The funny thing is that a lot of people will call you and offer you a free ticket to a sporting event just so that they can take advantage of the disabled parking facility by having you there!”
Become an entertainer
“People stare – especially children, and often they think I am Robocop or Iron Man! so I have learnt to become an entertainer!” Phillip laughs as he confidently shuffles in his chair.
Dance some more!
Sidney is a very interesting young man. A marketer by profession and fiercely ambitious, he is not shy to show off some truly impressive dance moves as he contemplates a musical career while brainstorming ideas for a new website. Dance some more with this busy man – he never misses a beat!
Malwande Mahlangeni – the boy who one day hopes to become president!
Last but not least by any stretch, meet Malwande Mahlangeni. There are simply now words to describe this little boy’s courage. Before Roger fitted him with his new prosthetic leg, Malwande had been walking for many years with an old wooden leg that was falling apart to say the very least. Despite this challenge, Malwande nevertheless took to the playground and the sports field and ran a marathon of his own.
“One day I hope to be President!” states Malwande, a confident and courageous nine-year-old boy with a prosthetic leg who attends Summerwood Primary School in Fairmount, Johannesburg.
Malwande, a new patient on board with Roger Wolfson and Associates since February 2017, was born with a congenital deformity known as Amniotic Band Syndrome, a rare birth defect. This condition, also known as Amniotic Band Sequence or ADAM complex affects the developing foetus in utero and causes entrapment of foetal parts in fibrous amniotic bandsthat usually affect the developing limbs or digits.
A “host of Angels on a mission” raise enough funds for a new prosthetic leg for the boy who hopes to one day become president
In Malwande’s case, his left leg was affected by the disorder and as a result, his leg was amputated below the knee when he was only two years old.
Insert video of Malwande Mahlangeni here
His teacher was so taken aback when she witnessed the courage and spirit of this brave little boy that she and a number of committed individuals managed to raise enough funds to put towards a brand new prosthetic leg for Malwande when they took on the role of a ‘host of angels on a mission’. Since then, Malwande has taken flight in many more ways than one.