At the outset, it is important to establish a good relationship with the doctor who performs the amputation
It was late in the afternoon and I was desperately trying not to be late for my next interview at Roger Wolfson and Associates, where prosthetics are made for those who have had an amputation. I parked my car in the parking lot at the Netcare Linksfield Hospital, which is one of the busiest hospitals I have ever seen in Johananesburg; and hurriedly made my way towards the consulting rooms of Roger Wolfson and Associates, Medical Orthotist and Prosthetist, which is right next door to the hospital. I had an appointment for an interview with one of Roger’s patients.
Walking stick in hand, with an amputation
As I made my way towards Roger’s consulting rooms, the setting sun was shining in my eyes, so much so that I could barely see as I scurried through the busy parking lot. At that point, a flash of sunlight bounced off a car windscreen that was driving into the parking lot, hitting me full on in the face and making my eyes water. The black SUV pulled into a parking bay and the driver got out of the car, his walking stick in hand.
There was something very ‘spiritual’ about him
The man with the walking stick was wearing a business suit. He had a slight limp as he walked. I didn’t know this man, yet I sensed that an aura of power surrounded him and although I couldn’t see the look in his eyes I could feel the steely determination behind his gaze as he shot me a look in passing. There was something very ‘spiritual’ about him and at that point I was not aware that the man driving the SUV was Phillip Herbst, the person I was to interview.
‘A domini with a difference’
“My faith has pulled me through, and I am also a domini, but, ‘a domini with a difference,” chuckled Phillip, as I began the interview by asking him a few questions about his background and interests.Video Player00:0000:17
ABSA Capital by day – domini by design
‘I work for ABSA Capital Markets during the day.”
I learned that a few years ago, due to illness, Phillip become a left leg trans femoral amputee, which means that his left leg had been amputated above the knee.
…just knowing that you are alive is a blessing….
“At the outset, it is important to establish a good relationship with the doctor who performs the amputation. And after the amputation, it is of vital importance that one seeks counselling. Others cannot experience what you are going through and counselling helps in getting things off your chest since just knowing that you are alive is a blessing.”
Only ‘you’ can create positive change in your life
“Remaining positive is hugely important since negativity causes a spin off effect and can ignite the onset of other diseases like cancer. It is also important to remember that only ‘you’ can create positive change in your life and not to use others as a crutch.
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.
Some people just cut you off, don’t let it get to you, they don’t know how to deal with what you are going through, don’t be put off.”
Able in the disabled parking facility
“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!”
In the workplace – ‘people don’t know how to ‘approach you.’
“People don’t know how to approach you, especially in the workplace. You need to encourage others to talk to you.
One day we had a fire drill at ABSA Capital Markets. The rules in the bank around fire drills or security drills involve staff having to evacuate the building using the stairs. In all the confusion, they couldn’t get me down the stairs! Eventually, I was evacuated from the building via the goods lift.
“Communities and the workplace need to address the needs of people with disabilities”
“Communities and the workpklace need to do more to address the needs of people with disabilities. This is abundantly clear.”
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.