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‘Inspirational’ County Durham amputee sets up support group to support others

A County Durham astrophysicist and crash survivor who had her leg amputated has founded a support group to help others going through similar trauma.

Dr Alison Broadbent – an astrophysicist who now works as a landscape gardener from County Durham – has, working with lawyers, occupational and physical therapists and prosthetics experts set up NE Amputees to provide the peer-support that she felt was missing when she was first injured.

Alison, 58, had her right leg amputated above the knee after she was knocked down by a van in Acacia Road, Bishop Auckland in 2018. Medics told her she “ought to have died”.

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  • However, Alison, who is a keen surfer and dancer and has even visited Mauritius since her surgery, is keen to use her only experiences – she sees herself as “one of the more fortunate ones” – to help others. She said: “Coming to terms with the collision and what it meant for my life going forward was difficult and there were many emotional times.

    “However, in a strange way it always felt that I was one of the more fortunate ones. I knew I was blessed to have such a support network around me who made the difference to my recovery and that others going through the trauma of amputation were likely to be facing an uncertain future alone.

    “Once I got to the position in my recovery that I could help others I always wanted to, and that’s where the idea of NE Amputee came from. The one thing I did miss was being able to talk to others going through the same uncertainty and challenges I was and being able to support one another.

    ““While it’s not always easy facing up to a new life and challenges I’ve always tried to be positive and hope to pass that on to others. I’d hope others who find themselves in a similar situation to what I did don’t feel they have to go through it by themselves as there’s support out there which makes such a difference.”

    Alongside lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, case manager Abbie Udall, Rachel Lees and Gemma Stoddart, a physiotherapist and occupational therapist respectively at Neural Pathways and expert prosthetist Colette Shaw, at Steps Prosthetics, Alison has set up NE Amputee.

    Laura Mcilduff, an expert lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who represented Alison and helped set up the support group, said: “Through our work we often see the impact losing a limb can have on clients but also how with access to specialist support and rehabilitation they can regain more of their independence.

    “By bringing together professionals across a range of disciplines we can offer specialist support specifically designed to meet the needs of members.

    The first meeting was really positive and showed that there was a real appetite for a group like this. We’re now planning future meetings and events and plan on having these at the Community Hub in the Metrocentre.”

    The group is open to anyone affected by amputation – to find out more click here. The next meeting of NE Amputee is from 1pm-3pm on Friday, 7 June, 2024, at the Metro Centre Community Hub, Upper Green Mall, Metro Centre NE11 9YG. Disabled parking and access are available.

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    View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/health/inspirational-county-durham-amputee-sets-29051400

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