Unwanted prosthetic limbs from North-East hospital set to change lives in Africa

Darlington and Stockton Times: GIVE US A HAND:  Driver Geoffrey Ingram, left, collects the prosthetic limbs from Susan Sheldon, prosthetic services manager, and physiotherapist Sheila Nicholson GIVE US A HAND: Driver Geoffrey Ingram, left, collects the prosthetic limbs from Susan Sheldon, prosthetic services manager, and physiotherapist Sheila Nicholson

DOZENS of unwanted prosthetic limbs from a North-East hospital are set to transform the lives of amputees in Africa.

More than 70 reconditioned limbs from James Cook University Hospital’s disablement services centre have been collected for Legs4Africa, a charity that operates around the UK.

The charity collects old prosthetic legs and arms and distributes them to amputees living across Africa, in the hope of helping them to regain some independence.

The donated limbs made for a strange sight as they were wheeled across the hospital car park in trolleys and stacked into cars ready to be refitted by the charity.

Susan Sheldon, prosthetic services manager at the hospital, said: “Once no longer required by our NHS patients we are not allowed to use the parts again and they just tend to get destroyed.

“By donating them to Legs4Africa it allows people who have lost arms and legs to put their lives back together because if they cannot tend to their crops and herds their livelihood is gone.”

The James Cook disablement services centre provides support for more than 1,000 amputees in the Teesside, South Durham and North Yorkshire areas.

Once in Africa the artificial limbs, or components from them, can be reused to help amputees who would otherwise not be able to afford treatment.

The centre was contacted by Christopher Ingram, from Legs4Africa, who has help to gather unwanted artificial arms and legs from hospitals across the UK.

For more information visit legs4africa.org

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