A plane crash survivor’s road to recovery.

Our team recently had the privilege of walking alongside an inspirational man on his recovery journey.

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This special amputee came from west Africa to receive and have his above-knee prosthesis fitted. He was too traumatised to tell us much about the accident in which he lost his leg, but we know that he is the only survivor of a plane crash. He was trapped under the aircraft’s propeller for 36 hours, in a forest, before help arrived. He did not talk about his surgeries or the rescue operation, but we know that it must have been slow and painful. His medical care took him to many different countries to receive specialised surgeries.

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We feel so honoured to have been able to be a part of the end of the journey when he received his state of the art prothesis all the way from Iceland and took his first tentative steps with the new device on our patio! We stand in awe at his fighting spirit, determination and will to regain optimal mobility.

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His stay in South Africa, at the Sunninghill Recovery Lodge, was not without incident though. The mishap however, did not happen to him but to me!

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Despite his gentle disposition and unhurried manner, he suffered from very high blood pressure. In our lodge, we take our guest-centred scheduling and approach very seriously, so guests determine their own sleep schedules and go to and we don’t wake them up unless we are asked to do so. We take the fact that we are not an institution very seriously! One morning our brave guest slept much later than usual and I decided to go and see if all was in order. I quietly tip-toed into the room, but the blackout curtains made it rather hard to see.

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As I approached his bed I was suddenly startled by a leg in front of me, fully attired in a new Nike trainer. Thankfully my little yelp did not disturb our guest, but it was my blood pressure, more than his, that was concerning for the rest of the day!

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