What people are saying….

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Adam Bates – C-Leg User

The best way I can describe the staff at APC would be to say, “They are my mates”!

After losing my leg in a farming accident in country NSW in 2005, a colleague of my father, who spoke very highly of the practice, referred me to APC Prosthetics.
It was approximately 12months post accident, so I was back at work, living & walking “normally” again.

I decided to visit with David Howells at APC to enquire about more & different types of legs. I had been very curious about a new style of knee, which was relatively new to the market… We met, we spoke, we spoke & we spoke so more! I was made to feel more than welcome & every effort was made to make me feel comfortable.

The enthusiasm David exuded at the challenge ahead excited me to the core. I knew from that point that this bloke knew what he was talking about & would do whatever he could to assist in the betterment of my personal & professional life.

Since the initial visit, 15 months ago my quality of life has improved 2 fold. I am now able to enjoy the odd game of golf (or 2) & walk without discomfort.
The professionalism of David, Cathy & the rest of the wonderful team at APC is second to none.

At the clinic you are treated as “family”, not just another number. I now reside in Brisbane QLD, but still attend the practice in Northmead. It is well worth the 10-hour drive to be treated by (in my opinion) the BEST in the country & possibly the world.

I have since recommended APC Prosthetics to numerous people in both QLD & NSW. Now I can only hope these people along with anyone else who might be “unfortunate” enough to loose a limb can surpass the tyranny of distance to be able to work alongside the team at APC in the re-building of life as an amputee.

Adam Bates
April 2008

 

Don Elgin 
Paralympian – World Champion – Motivational Speaker
Transtibial Amputee (Below the Knee)

I first came in contact with David Howells after a fellow Paralympian suggested that I could run faster if I had a better leg, he suggested the best person to make that leg was David Howells. Sounds simple but to leave the team that had helped me make it to Paralympic level I found difficult.

Looking back now I know that I did the very best thing for my career as an elite athlete by partnering with the team at APC Prosthetics.  I now have all my legs made at the APC Prosthetics. As a Paralympic Pentathlete doing 5 events, this means a number of different legs.

An obvious difference with having legs made at the APC Prosthetics is when you leave with a new leg you know it is going to be some time before you need to go back. This is a clear reflection of the team at APC Prosthetics, their willingness to explore new ground and genuine interest in patience well-being provides the best possible outcomes.

A clear advantage with APC Prosthetics is the established partnerships with the leading edge suppliers of the finest equipment available, coupled with the expertise and product knowledge of the team fitting the components the team at APC Prosthetics are in a league of their own when it comes to complete care of amputees.

As an elite athlete I continue to push my body to the limit and I know as long as APC Prosthetics are with me in my journey, then there will be nothing holding me back.

I can not speak more highly of the team at the APC Prosthetics and value greatly the role that they have played both on and off the track with not only my results as an elite athlete but my quality of life as a very active amputee.

Don Elgin
Triple Paralympic Medalist

If you would like to know more about Don Elgin you can visit his website at www.donelgin.com.au

 

Dwayne Fernandes – Bilateral Amputee

Meet Dwayne, one of APC Prosthetic’s clients who recently took part in the 2008 Sydney Tower Run Up.

The 2008 Sydney Tower Run Up was held on Friday August 29th in support of the Heart Foundation. The Sydney Tower Run-Up is the city’s ultimate challenge: competing for the fastest time for the climb to the Observation Deck of Sydney Tower, the highest point above the city.

A fitness challenge for all athletes, professional or not, the Tower Run-Up takes competitors up the fire escape stairs in the centre of the Tower’s steel-encased shaft. Entrants includes an international field of elite men and women, plus age-specific groups, corporate groups and emergency services groups.

After 1 week of training at the Gym and stairs everywhere I climbed the 1504 stairs to be the first double amputee to do the race. My time 23.49 minutes.

Dwayne Fernandes
October 2008

 

David Field
Transfemoral Amputee (Above the Knee)

It was in Toronto Canada when at the age of 28 it was discovered that I had bone cancer in my left leg. My wife and I had emigrated from Sydney 7 weeks earlier to take up employment in Canada.

After an operation and 5 months of non weight bearing, the tumour returned and my left leg was amputated through the knee at the Toronto East General Hospital on September 25 1970. Due to the Vietnam War and the large number of young men who returned to North America as amputees, post operative techniques were the best in the world at that time and I was up and back to work 3 weeks after having my leg amputated. Subsequently we returned to Australia 5 years later after leaving a little bit of myself in Canada.

In 1976 I needed a new artificial leg due to stump changes and went to RALAC in Blues Point where my first Australian leg was made. In 1979 I returned to RALAC and again due to stump changes a new artificial leg was made. At the time I met Richard Curby who had just started as an apprentice and since then have followed him and his skills wherever he went.

Richard Curby is a dedicated leg maker, he is a ‘master technician’, someone who cares about the patient and goes out of his way to get things just right. In times when 75% of making an artificial leg come ‘off the shelf’ and is fitted with an ‘Allen key’ that final 25% requires great skill, the socket must fit exactly, and that is where Richard Curby excels. His ability to get the right socket fit together with his skill in recommending the right mixture of knee, ankle and foot make him a true expert.

He and his crew at APC are as good as anybody in the world, I have had ‘leg’ problems while travelling in France, Canada and the USA and they just don’t make the cut when compared with Richard and the APC crew.

DAVID FIELD
April 2008

 

Russell Hodge – Transfemoral Amputee

Losing a limb is no small thing. It changes everything. In September 2006 my right leg was amputated above the knee following a high speed motorcycle accident. APC Prosthetics have been instrumental in helping me gain my confidence and adjust to life with a prosthetic leg.

I was encouraged to shop around and check out my options when it came to choosing a Prosthetist. This was very good advice as it lead me to APC Prosthetics. The best way of describing my experience with APC is that of a family. Families care for one another and create a sense of belonging. When I arrive at APC, I feel less and less like a “Client” and more like a family member.

All the staff at APC is friendly and supporting. The training offered has allowed me to walk with confidence and move back into activities I use to enjoy. The continuing care has been outstanding as life as an amputee can have its complications. As a Far West NSW resident I have always appreciated the availability and willingness of APC to accommodate my needs, fit me into the schedule and go the extra mile. I recommend APC Prosthetics.

 

Ed Howarth
Transtibial Amputee (Below the Knee)

Ed Howarth travels from Gunnedah NSW to APC Prosthetics to have his prosthesis made by David Howells. Following is a recent article from the Daily Telegraph.

Playing on with an artificial leg

Article from: The Daily Telegraph
By Jon Geddes – September 04, 2008

WHEN Ed Howarth lost his leg just below the knee in a motorcycle accident at 15, people assumed his promising rugby career was over.

But they underestimated the determination of the courageous young forward who defied the odds by returning to the field 12 months later wearing an artificial leg.

On Saturday, the inspirational No.8 will continue his amazing sporting comeback as a key member of the Gunnedah Red Devils under-19s in their preliminary final against Barrabra in Narrabri.

“I just wanted to prove a point that no matter what you have wrong with you, just keep on trying, you can do it,” Howarth said.

“I got into the Junior Paralympics for swimming for three months, but I didn’t want to do swimming, I wanted to pursue my dream and come back to play rugby.”

While he could well have been diving into the pool with the Australian Paralympic squad in China this weekend, Howarth will instead be playing rugby in central north NSW.

Before the accident, which occurred in 2004 on the family property when Howarth was taking his brother to catch the school bus, Howarth had been selected in the NSW Country representative side.

“I love rugby to death, it’s a great sport,” Howarth said. But becoming a rugby forward with an artificial leg provided some special challenges for the 18-year-old greenkeeeper at the Gunnedah Golf Course.

“You can’t use your toes, you can’t use your ankle and you haven’t got a strong calf muscle,” he said.”But it’s easy to adjust as soon as you get to learn. I want everyone to know they can play even if they have one leg or one arm.”
And don’t worry, Howarth doesn’t ask for any special favors when he pulls on his rugby boots, always giving as good as he gets.

Executive Officer of the NSW Country Rugby Union, Terry Woodward, watched Howarth play in a semi-final at Tamworth last weekend and initially didn’t realize the mobile forward had an artificial leg.

“When you first see him it looks like he has a knee guard on,” Woodward said.”He plays No.8 and doesn’t shirk anything. He trucks the ball up, he tackles, he lifts in the lineout, he does everything.”

Having Howarth in their ranks has really benefited the Red Devils. “We are very fortunate to have someone like Ed in the club because it makes everyone realize how lucky they are,” said club president Aaron Goddard.

“If something ever happens you can still go on and do great things. We have nothing but praise for him.”

Despite his difficulties, Goddard said Howarth had a fantastic attitude to the game. “For what he has been through it is incredible. With his rugby he just wants to be like everyone else – get out there and do it,” he said.

“He is a solid bloke and just as good as any person on the field. It doesn’t stop him apart from pulling up every now and then to fix the leg up.”

Goddard said everyone on the sideline was gob smacked, especially when they see him making big tackles and surging runs.

After achieving so much in just getting back onto the field, Howarth still has some clear goals. “I’m going to keep on playing until I physically can’t,” he declared.

 

 

 

 

Michael Milton

Skier, Cyclist, Trekker, Triathlete, World & Australian Record Holder, Paralympian, Olympian
Transfemoral Amputee (Above the Knee)

I’ve known of APC Prosthetics for many years. Even though I don’t wear a prosthetic leg myself, I mix with lots of people who do and most go to APC Prosthetics.

So naturally, when I started cycling seriously and needed a ‘stump bucket’ for my bike, I went straight to APC. You see, it’s not just about legs and arms. They’d never made anything even remotely like what I had in mind but they were happy to give it a go.

They listened to my ideas and investigated the options, came up with new concepts and produced a prototype which I tested and from which we eventually made the stump bucket that I used at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

Both David and Cameron were great to work with, open to suggestions and very knowledgeable.  The stump bucket passed all the required Paralympic and International Cycling Association criteria and I’m certain it bought me a few seconds at least.

Michael Milton
November 2008

Click Here to visit Michael’s website and keep up to date with his latest achievements.

 

Dr Jan Richardson
Transhumeral Amputee (Above the Elbow)

When you become a customer of APC Centre, you are not just an amputee who needs to be fitted with a limb.  You are respected as a person and treated with such courtesy you could be forgiven for thinking you were an honoured guest.  This warm welcome is maintained by the entire team, from the receptionist to the boys in the workshop.  You are offered coffee, something to read, and a comfortable chair while you are waiting.

Throughout the fitting procedure the entire team creates an atmosphere of good humour and positive energy to support you.  Then comes the production of the artificial limb – and here is another surprise. The craftsmanship of these outstanding professionals inevitably results in a limb that fits and is comfortable (and useful!).  If there’s something that worries you, the prosthetic team is never impatient or too busy to talk about it and, where possible, to be creative and make changes that overcome the problem you have identified.

The enthusiasm and delight exhibited by all when you can show off the new limb is similar to that shown by friends and family.  I must say that in all the eight years I have been so fortunate as to be a client of APC, these superlatives have never been misplaced.  And that’s something, coming from an above-elbow arm amputee, because arms that need moving hands, wrists and elbows are extremely difficult to make.

Absolute Power and Comfort, that’s what APC means to me!

Dr Jan Richardson
April 2005

Tom Richardson
Transtibial Amputee (Below the Knee)

After the first year following the amputation of my right leg (below knee) I decided to seek the best outcome possible for my personal circumstances.

APC Prosthetics is one of the many companies advertising in the amputee journal. Having spoken to several of the companies I made a decision to visit APC Prosthetics – the intention being to discuss and ascertain what leg options were available to me.

It took just ten minutes with Stefan Laux for me to feel confident in our professional relationship – along with the advice regarding the types of prosthetics available obviously being offered by someone who really knew their stuff.

I now walk on an elevated vacuum system prosthesis. The follow up and professional support is beyond reproach and it is my firmly held belief that without the support and advice I have received since the day I walked in the door of APC Prosthetics I would not be leading a life as “on track” as I am.

My thanks must go to APC Prosthetics for the way I and I know others have been treated.  Our community is fortunate to have a presence such as APC Prosthetics and I look forward to the future in the full confidence that the APC business model will continue to support and benefit amputees Australia wide.

To APC Prosthetics I say thank you.

Regards,
Tom Richardson
November 2008

 

Stephen Wilson – Paralympian
Transtibial Amputee (Below the Knee)

I have been associated with APC for 11 years. I first heard about David Howells in 1997 after hearing that he took particular interest in running prosthetics. As an aspiring amputee sprinter I told him of my interest in running and asked him if he would make me a leg. Not only did he make me a leg but he accompanied me to the track for the first 6 months of training ensuring that the leg was functioning correctly and taking a general interest in my progress.

In the years that followed, I have competed in 3 Paralympic Games which have resulted in 2 Gold medals, 1 Silver Medal and 2 Bronze Medals. Without the support of APC, I wouldn’t have achieved the results or had the experiences that I have had. I have found them to be always looking to the future in terms of the latest technology and continually working  to enhance the lives of amputees.

The fact that I think very little about my disability, and lead a very active and limitless life is a testament to the work done at APC.

Steve Wilson