Bobby Griffin’s motorbike was hit by a speeding driver as he rode home one summer’s evening. The collision caused life changing injuries for the 28-year-old including fractures to his spine, ribs and leg leaving him in hospital for six weeks, in and out of consciousness.
Bobby’s determination to salvage his injured limb involved 18 months of gruelling surgery. The experience of endless procedures, pain and emotion was a hugely challenging experience. The combination of physio, skin grafts, reconstructive surgery and using a pair of crutches was hugely demoralising.
“It was really hard work. I didn’t realise at the time how badly I’d damaged my limb. It felt absolutely natural to want to save it though. The doctors did manage to save my leg by rebuilding it and because I was fit and health my body accepted what they did but I was never entirely happy.
“18 months is a long time to put up with this kind of situation. The frustration of not being able to walk indecently again without crutches – and still in pain – was hard to live with. I was so active before my injury and it felt like such a difference. I lost confidence and was finding life and work very difficult. I just felt like I couldn’t do it anymore.”
Bobby situation changed when he began to research ‘becoming an amputee’ and started to weigh up the pros and cons of elective amputation after plateauing in his rehabilitation in his existing NHS setting. His case manager referred him to Pace Rehabilitation.
In meeting the Pace Rehabilitation team, prior to amputation surgery, Bobby was able to consider and discuss all options. For some people this process may include Orthotic intervention. In Bobby’s case a bespoke program of prosthetic support was put in place including intensive periods of support and overnight stays close by to clinic.
During pre-amputation preparation, Bobby was introduced to a number of working age below knee amputees who were leading active lives with their prostheses. Both physical and psychological support and preparation was certainly beneficial prior to surgery.
The amputation procedure went smoothly and life for Bobby changed for the better almost instantly.
“It was a hugely, hugely positive experience and I was in a much better place right away. The amputation and the subsequent prosthetic fittings and physiotherapy improved my situation rapidly. My physical and emotional wellbeing vastly improved – and continues to do so as I make progress.”
Under the guidance of Pace Rehabilitation, he began a programme of multidisciplinary rehabilitation and support from the team of prosthetists and other clinicians at our clinic in Amersham. Good support and communication with Bobby’s very efficient Case Manager played a key role during early rehabilitation
The journey of recovery included trialling different prosthetics to optimise the active lifestyle he had always enjoyed before his injury.
It’s this proactive and tailored approach which members of the Pace Rehabilitation team have helped to deliver to Armed Forces personnel at the Defence Rehabilitation Centre – the programme aimed at helping the armed forces get back to work following serious injury.
As Bobby’s passion of badminton was re-ignited, he rose to become one of the best players in the world as a player and a coach. He is now a leading figure in the parabadminton scene and plays an active role in playing, developing and progressing the sport. You can follow Bobby on Twitter here.
Bobby produced a bucket list of activities which he continues to work through as part of his recovery. He considers himself to be well rehabilitated once he has achieved each of these goals. We are proud to play a key role in helping him to tick items off of the list.
Following early prosthetic rehabilitation Bobby continues to receive support when required. He is occasionally seen as items become worn and are in need of replacement through good use. 10 years in and Bobby remains in very good physical condition as a full-time prosthetic user leading a busy family and working life including a range of activities.
“Bobby is real inspiration to anyone who sustains a serious limb injury and wants to maintain – and succeed – with an active lifestyle. The way he tells his story is incredibly motivating for anyone who finds themselves in a similar position.”
Scott Richardson Pace Rehabilitation
“Amputation in my case was certainly the best decision to make and although not easy especially during the initial year or two. I am happy to be able to continue to lead an active life thanks to the excellent support I have received from Pace Rehabilitation.