Monday March 8th 2021 is International Women’s Day and we are proud to highlight some of the positive female role model patients who attend Pace Rehabilitation.
We are showcasing the achievements and talents of individuals who show a determined attitude and positive approach, in the face of life changing injuries and challenges.
Their individual social media links are included, so you can learn more.
In June 2015, Leah sustained an above-the-knee amputation in a traumatic accident.
The former teaching assistant has been focusing her attentions on her health and fitness, as she explains, “It is very important to me and having a good fitness level helps with using my prosthetic leg.”
Activities & Interests: “My passion is to raise awareness and assist others with body confidence. I also enjoy pilates, skiing and dancing.”
Proudest achievement: “It has to be when we raising £22K for Air Ambulance; Stoke Hospital; & Fire Service at a charity evening.”
Future plans: “Prior to lockdown, I was training to do a 5K run on the 5th anniversary of my accident. I still hope to do it and raise funds for the Air Ambulance, for saving my life.”
When aged 20, Milly lost her right leg (below-the-knee) in a traumatic accident.
Activities & Interests: “I’ve always been into sports and since my amputation new doors have opened up for me, including becoming a Gymshark supported athlete. I also love learning, so I’m always doing extra courses in various subjects including social media (Milly has +290k followers across various platforms)”.
Proudest achievement: “Despite losing my leg mid-way through my marketing degree, I achieved a 1st without taking a year out. That was pretty rewarding!”
Future plans: “I hope to help as many people and charities as I can, I am passionate about this and believe that anything is possible when you set your mind to it. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”
Julie is a congenital through-the-knee amputee and GB Sprinter (100m, T63), who has competed in Paralympic sport since 10 years of age and is currently training towards her third Paralympic Games! Since recently graduating university, she also works for a financial planning firm.
Activities & Interests: “Outside of athletics and strength training at the gym, I really enjoy good food (which can be a terrible trait for an athlete!) with good company. I think meeting and speaking with people from different walks of life is one of the best ways to educate and open the mind.”
Proudest achievement: “London 2017 World Championships 100m Final. Having a home crowd cheer you on is a crazy feeling.”
Future plans: “I hope to compete in Tokyo for a hat trick of Paralympic Games and in this journey be able to reach out and help amputees in an authentic and genuine way. I feel that 22 years of physical fine tuning and continuous growing (mentally as well as physically), some amputee challenges I have ‘cracked!’ I’d love to share that with anybody it can help.”
In 2011, whilst a Law student at university, Annabelle sustained an above knee amputation following a traumatic road traffic accident. She is now a qualified solicitor at Novum Law, representing clients who have sustained catastrophic personal injuries.
“I absolutely love my job. I find nothing more rewarding than watching my clients’ inspiring recoveries and knowing that I had a part to play in that.”
Activities & Interests: “I have always been a passionate dancer and fitness fanatic. Thanks to my osseointegration surgery in 2016, I’ve been able to return to these much-loved activities that I’d once written off as unachievable. I am also a qualified as a spin instructor.”
Proudest achievement: “Aside from getting back to fitness and dance, professionally my colleagues & I worked on a personal injury claim for a successful businessman, who had sustained a serious brain injury in a road traffic accident. We worked effectively with the family and the claim was brought to a successful conclusion, securing a significant compensation settlement.”
Future plans: “To continue to represent clients who have suffered life changing injuries, through no fault of their own. I can talk from personal experience and know the importance of accessing the appropriate rehabilitation and support to get you back on your feet – quite literally in my case! – and to find meaning and purpose again in your day-to-day life.”
Lisa became a below-the-knee amputee, after being run over as a pedestrian in 2007. As she recalls, “So far I have had 47 operations to walk again, so treat each day that I can take a step further as a gift.”
Activities & Interests: “I am a mother of four and a limb loss counsellor/positive speaker, to raise awareness of life after amputation. I also am a kilt and costume maker, model and love reading, foraging, walking, yoga running and to dance I can.”
Proudest achievement: “This year my proudest achievements has been raising funds for over 50 charities by getting back to running. I may be slow, but a little every day, I get there.”
Future plans: I plan to walk/run at least 250km a month through this year for charities, health permitting.”
ing funds for over 50 charities by getting back to running. I may be slow, but a little every day, I get there.”
Following a road traffic accident in 2015 Gill sustained an above-the-knee amputation.
As she proudly explains, “Yes I am disabled. I use a wheelchair upstairs and downstairs and have a stair lift, BUT I also walk well!” adding, “I manage a mile on my own, three if I have company.”
Activities & Interests: “I enjoy life, friends, music (Gill plays the lute) and I like archaeology, driving my adapted car, gardening, my allotment and dance exercise class twice a week.”
Proudest achievement: “Walking those three miles, which included a very steep up and down bit!”
Future plans: “I will continue to build up my strength, so that I can walk further distances and improve my balance and movement.”
Suzannah (Suzi) Unsworth
In 2012 Suzi lost her leg above-the-knee when she was hit by a truck, as she cycled to work. Despite her life-changing injuries she remained positive, “I have always been a positive caring person and during my own recovery I encouraged others, finding that focusing on the needs of others helped me as well.”
Activities & Interests: “My hobbies are live-action role play. Which is basically outdoor drama/fantasy re-enactments. It involves dressing up as various fictional or fantasy creatures and people, then running around a field or rented house somewhere with prop weapons.
Proudest achievement: “Being able to walk again independently. This may not seem like a big achievement, no awards or certificates, but just being able to put one foot in front of the other and plodding around my local park and being able to re-join my friends in their outdoor activities was my proudest moment.
“Also, as part of my rehabilitation with my personal trainer, I made a workout video for above-the-knee amputees, to help others. It’s called Limb-itless and can be viewed on YouTube.” (see link below)
Future plans: “I climbed and hiked before my accident, completing the three peaks Yorkshire challenge, as well as climbing England and Wales tallest mountains. I was booked to do Ben Nevis when I had my accident. I did try to climb it only a year after getting out of the hospital, but only got halfway as I was in too much pain. It is my goal to complete that climb and prove it did not beat me. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, that is exactly what I am going to do. The Hobbit takes on mount doom!”
Former trainee PE teacher, Zoe’s career path has taken a completely new direction since her below-the-knee amputation in 2015.
She can often be found being extracted from military encampments or burning buildings by the armed forces and emergency services, in simulations with Casualty Resources.
More recently, she has put her admin skills and personal experiences to good effect by helping at her friend’s private occupational therapy company, OT33.
Activities & Interests: “I’m an adventurer at heart and love to travel. I have travelled to over 20 countries, living from time to time in some to immerse myself fully in the culture. I have a passion for water sports and have surfed in Australia, Mexico, India, New Zealand and my favourite place, Wales!”
Proudest achievement: “When I lost my leg I lost my career path and in some ways my sense of self. Through the support of my friends and family I steered myself onto a new career path and now enjoy a diverse and exciting career. Currently I am working for a private Occupational therapy company, working with people whose independence, daily living and quality of life has been affected by physical and neurological injury, mental health symptoms and conditions, or illness and disease.”
Future plans: “I am hoping in the Spring to start training with Adaptive Surf England in an attempt to become a part of their active squad. My main objective in life is to enjoy every day to its fullest and never take anything or anyone for granted.”