Angela Phythian defied her diagnosis and walked again, with the support of the Limb Centre at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.
In October 2019, Angela had an accident at home causing a life threatening injury. This accident resulted in an above knee amputation and after two weeks in ICU, was told that at 71, it was unlikely she would walk again and to prepare for a life in a wheelchair.
Instead, Angela Phythian embarked on an extensive rehabilitation journey! Once she left Addenbrookes after the operation, Angela spent one month in Ward 19b at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital to get over the operation and acclimatise to using a wheelchair and coming to terms with this new situation. Angela was then transferred to the NHS Amputee Rehabilitation Unit in Lambeth where she underwent a concentrated programme of recovery, learning to live life without a limb and to be as mobile as possible which included walking with a prosthetic limb.
In January 2020, Angela returned home and started her physiotherapy journey with Rachel Smith and prosthetic journey with Sarah MacGillivray.
Angela said: “Whilst these two have been my main points of contact, the smiling faces and welcome from the moment I enter the Limb Centre in Luton – from receptionists right through to the other members of the Limb Centre team – these people have been my supporters/family, walking beside me with encouragement and understanding as I progressed learning to walk with a prosthetic limb and overcoming so many physical and mental hurdles.”
Angela will be carrying the Baton on Friday 8 July 2022 at Wardown Park in Luton.
Carrying the Queen’s Baton “…champions the individuality in humanity and celebrates bringing people together. The Baton is entwined with unique components and displays connectivity to represent the power of collaboration.”
Angela said: “All of you at the Limb Centre Luton have been my Baton and I will carry you proudly on my segment of the relay – knowing you will all be there, as you have always been, cheering me on in person or in spirit.
“Lockdown slowed down my progress as the Limb Centre was closed, but I still kept my strength and physical well-being up with specialised online physical training and help from Dale at Hardiman Performance, returning to the Limb Centre in the October 2020 for a new Kenevo leg and socket, more training and support.
“I am very proud of the fact, with all of you walking beside me, that I have defied the prognosis of never walking again! I have returned to an active life, using whatever means possible to be as mobile as possible which includes driving an automatic car with my left foot, my prosthetic limb, my wheelchair and a mobility scooter. I class myself as “dif-abled” (differently able), and I strive to demonstrate to others that whatever adversity one faces, with a positive attitude and people to walk beside and support you along the way, anything is possible! Don’t give up!”
The Limb Centre said: ‘Throughout her rehab Angie has worked extremely hard and always kept sight of her long term goal of regaining her mobility and independence. Carrying the baton for the commonwealth games is a celebration of that achievement. It has been a pleasure to work with Angie during her rehabilitation and continue to support her through the ups, downs and future challenges. She is an ambassador for both staff and patients at the centre.’
Picture above in the back row from left to right are Brian Clements, Deanne Houtris, Claire Moore, Francesca Mastracci, Sheela Pattni and in the front row from left to right are Sean Taylor, Sarah MacGillivray, Rachel Smith, Jenna Balendra