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Home / Real Life Stories / Prosthetics / Andrew’s Orion3 Story
Real Life Stories
Andrew is a 54-year-old photographer who specialises in wedding photography and portraits, and has recently set up a wedding car business called ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ which is named after his granddaughter. He lives with his wife Amanda who he has been married to for 31 years in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Andrew is a keen swimmer and has a real passion for cars and live music, frequently travelling to concerts not only in the UK, but also in Europe and the USA.
In the summer of 1981, at the age of 17, Andrew was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. This resulted in the loss of his left leg above the knee and a full brachial plexus injury to his left arm, leaving it completely paralysed. Years later and due to complications, his left hand was amputated in 2010 meaning Andrew’s requirement for a lower limb prosthesis that was stable and helps regain his balance upon stumbling, was much greater.
For fifteen years, Andrew was happy with his previous microprocessor knee (MPK) and reluctant to try alternative options. When it was time for a replacement, his Prosthetist suggested that Andrew try a new combination of MPK and a hydraulic ankle which his Prosthetist believed would better suit his requirements. Not overly optimistic that anything could beat his current leg, he thought it was worth a trial, “especially as it was a British manufactured product.”
Andrew was subsequently fitted with Orion3 paired with an Echelon hydraulic ankle. At the initial fitting stage, Andrew was extremely impressed with how stable he felt when standing. Once programmed to his walking ability he commented, “I could instantly identify a big improvement in the way it operated. It was responsive, light and very smooth. From the moment I ‘toed off’ I knew how the knee was responding in the swing phase, and I had complete confidence in how it was operating.” When comparing to his previous leg, Andrew noticed that he had been experiencing a very slight “buckle” when walking, meaning he had been compensating for this by anticipating every step. Thanks to Orion3 this was no longer an issue.
Andrew thought that his previous leg performed very well, and said, “I wouldn’t have thought that there was much room for improvement. However, my new leg has certainly exceeded my expectations.” Not only is Andrew pleasantly surprised by how Orion3 operates, but he also finds Echelon enhances how Orion3 functions “It has significantly increased my confidence when I am out and about. Overall, it has made walking both more enjoyable and safer.”
Andrew’s first grandchild, Daisy Mae, is just two and a half-years-old and being their first grandchild, she certainly keeps him active! With Andrew’s new-found confidence in his prosthesis, he now has a willingness to try new things where previously he would have been hesitant. Tasks like walking on uneven ground, using stairs and ramps now seem more natural than before and he is more confident in his movements; “Orion3 is part of who I am”.
Andrew is overjoyed with his Orion3 and Echelon as they have made a positive impact on his life and being able to rely on his prosthesis has made a world of difference to him. Andrew added, “I know I am not getting any younger, and appreciate the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Hopefully, with the help of my new Orion3, I will be able to achieve this goal.”