My life as a student and an amputee

In the February of 2017 I became a below knee amputee, and I can gladly say it was one of the best decisions of my life; it has enabled me to pursue my dreams and to become the independent and self-confident women I am today.

In December that same year, I approached Dorset Orthopaedic about making me a bespoke rowing specific prosthesis as my NHS prosthetic was not up to the standards required, and was thrilled with the final product. I was in the midst of progressing from the talent squad for GB Paralympic rowing to development.  After going from strength to strength with my new leg, I moved up to the development squad where I maintained my place for 18 months, even achieving Bronze at my first competition and represented adaptive sport at the Cuty Sark for ‘Love Rowing’ a charitable foundation. Unfortunately, I had to part from the squad In December 2019 due to health issues.

I was still busy though as in September the year before I had signed up for university and started a two-year foundation degree in Sports Therapy within Injury Rehabilitation, which I am completing in May, and hopefully graduating this September. In addition to this, I have been accepted to do a BSc Hons top up in Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, finishing in mid 2021.

Overall, life as an amputee student is very rigorous due to juggling the high-work load, dealing with bad-leg days and other problems life throws at me, but it has also allowed me to help other people with their own studying. I have been assisting the third year students with their strength and conditioning coaching and putting my own knowledge to the test during our clinic where we treat the general public in order to gain experience and try to correct each individual issue. This will enable them to embark on their own rehabilitation journey, just as I have and continue to do.

Overall, when I put things into perspective, if I didn’t become an amputee in the first place, I may not be where I am today, especially with the continued support and expertise that I receive on a regular basis from the team at Ringwood, whether that be through the a phone call, emails or appointments. 

Sophie Harris