Bobby Griffin – The Whole Package!

bobby-griffin-4Bobby’s incredible rehabilitation is covered in detail below. However, as an update, on May 15th 2011 he became the first amputee to win the Standing (Catagory 3) ParaBadminton 4-Nations title, just ten months after his elective left below the knee amputation!

Pace Rehabilitation prides itself on its multi-disciplinary team (MDT) approach to rehabilitation. Recently, an example of how a selection of its services were successfully applied to support a patient’s exceptional rehabilitation.

In 2008, Bobby Griffin (30) from Bath was involved in a road traffic accident that resulted in serious injury to his left lower leg. Two years later, following numerous operations, he was still heavily dependent upon a pair of crutches, almost unable to weight bear on the damaged foot and generally very frustrated by his immobility.

Prior to the accident Bobby was a very fit, active and competitive individual who regularly rock climbed and played county standard badminton. Now, none of this was possible. So, ably assisted by his partner Lauren, they began to investigate and research the daunting decision of an elective below-the knee amputation.

bobby-griffin-standing-on-1-legIn addition to the clinical consultations, Bobby and Lauren wanted to speak to somebody who had been through a similar amputation and who was now leading an active lifestyle. Through an amputee user group they were put in contact with Pace employee and below the knee amputee Scott Richardson. Scott explains “I frankly answered their questions, which had an emphasis on sports. Bobby was delighted that I played badminton, a sport he dearly missed. We kept in contact via Facebook as they continued on their fact finding mission”.

After considerable research, the decision to go ahead with the amputation operation was made. So Bobby contacted his Case Manager, Rebecca Allen of Rehab Potential, to advise her.

Rebecca set the wheels in motion to obtain expert opinion about the best course of action to follow for Bobby’s rehabilitation. As she explains “My previous experience of Pace was excellent, so I recommended that Bobby have a pre amputation assessment by the Pace team”. She continues “When I rang and spoke to Scott, he quickly realised that it was the same Bobby he had spoken to several months previously, so we were off to a flying start, which was terrific”.

With an amputation operation date imminent, an assessment appointment was swiftly arranged with a Pace MDT, consisting of Dr Ernest Van Ross (Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine), Jamie Gillespie (Prosthetist) and Nicky Edwards (Physiotherapist).

bobby-griffin-2As Dr Van Ross explains “By calling upon the experience of our clinicians, we were able to provide a full programme, from pre-operation through to prosthetic provision, thereby providing Bobby with a smooth and hopefully successful rehabilitation”.

Jamie added “The early stages after amputation are key to the success of an individual’s rehabilitation. Through close liaison with the physiotherapist in Bobby’s hospital, we were able to commence the compression therapy of the residual limb a few days after the operation. We recognised that with the correct support in place from our team, Bobby has the potential to do exceptionally well”.

This proved to be the case as Bobby commenced his physiotherapy at Pace’s Chesham clinic. Nicky explained “Within three weeks of his operation, Bobby was walking outdoors on a PPAM Aid with his crutches and with THE biggest smile on his face”.

As a beaming Bobby said “I’ve not walked this fast for the past two years”.

Bobby has barely stopped smiling since. “I definitely made the right decision to have the amputation. The support I have been receiving here has been fantastic. I am enjoying restarting my life again!”

The next stage, less than five weeks post-op, was for Jamie to provide Bobby with his first prosthesis. His anticipation and determination to walk unaided was obvious.

bobby-griffin-3Jamie explains “True to form, within minutes of donning his first ever prosthesis, Bobby was freely walking around the clinic room! In ten years, I have never seen that before!” He continued “Bobby was fully weight-bearing on the prosthetic side (pictured) was within 5-minutes of putting the prosthesis on”.

Pace’s support often extends outside of the clinical environment. Given the incredible progress Bobby was making already, he was directed by Scott in the direction of Limb Power’s 2010 Amputee Games, being held at Stoke Mandeville.

The event targets recent amputees of less than 4-years and provides the opportunity to try out a variety of sports, with participation and competition delivered in equal measures.

During the two days at the Games Bobby tried out archery, shooting, swimming, badminton, weight lifting and table tennis. He modestly said “I think I did ok”, returning from the games with a clutch of medals and offers to actively participate in several different sports. Few amputees there could believe how recent his amputation had been.

Bobby’s rehabilitation continues with the Pace team, through prosthetic provision and physiotherapy. In conclusion Scott said “Judging by the incredible progress he has made already, the only concern is when Bobby returns to the badminton court! Hopefully he will want a doubles partner?!”