Dramatic life change for the man with the wooden arm

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It was 18 months ago when Tim Madison’s life changed significantly.

He was travelling as a car passenger on his way home to Eastbourne, when Tim was involved in a road traffic accident which resulted in his left arm being amputated.

That was February 2012, and as Tim recalled, “Being a self-employed window cleaner, a keen runner and regular gym user, losing my arm completely turned my world upside-down!”

But life is about presenting a fresh set of challenges, and key to this was regaining his mobility through use of a prosthetic arm. But this one was a little different.

Despite experiencing some early setbacks in his rehabilitation, Tim can now proudly show off his new alternative ‘wooden look’ prosthetic arm.

Tim recounted his journey, “Initially I attended my local rehabilitation rentre, but my experiences there weren’t very positive and I became quite disillusioned. I was starting to see little point in having a prosthetic arm.”

However, before completely dismissing any future prosthetic use, Tim’s solicitor, Michael Blandy, suggested that he attend a clinical assessment by an independent provider.

As Michael explained, “Tim’s negative experiences were impacting his recovery potential. A fresh approach would perhaps provide him with some alternative solutions and alleviate some of his frustrations. I was also keen that Tim could regain his ability to undertake normal daily life, such as going to the gym and start planning his future in the jobs market.”

With excellent cooperation from the insurers involved in Tim’s litigation claim, Michael referred him to the multi-disciplinary team at Pace Rehabilitation for an Initial Assessment.

As Pace Prosthetist/Orthotist Paul Richardson recalled, “It was important to listen to what Tim wanted.

“Restoring his body image and providing some function were important to Tim, but he was not interested in a life-like prosthesis. Instead, he wanted something aesthetic that looked good on its own terms, which we were happy to oblige with.”

With a blank canvas to choose from, Tim was actively involved in choosing the design. “In terms of the appearance, Paul said I could basically have whatever I wanted, which was brilliant,” added Tim.

So, while Paul and Occupational Therapist Anne Marie van Es worked with Tim on his prosthetic provision and function, utilising the Becker Lockgrip hand from America, he began to come up with design ideas.

Tim said, “Living close to Hastings, I fancied having the Bayer tapestry on the arm, but decided that the design is a bit long, so wouldn’t really work! I told Paul that I fancied something ‘old school’ and 
our discussions lead to wooden looking arm, which 
sounded brilliant!”

With a design brief, Pace’s technician Bryan Bradbury worked with designers at Funki Fabrics to produce a wood effect Lycra material. Bryan explained,“Its always exciting to produce a prosthesis that’s a little bit different. After a couple of attempts, we came up with a design that everyone was happy with.”

The unique prosthesis was then meticulously finished by Bryan, encompassing the bespoke material.

Once he had collected and fitted the arm, Tim was delighted, saying “Not only is it comfortable and functional, but it looks absolutely superb.

The team at Pace really ‘got me’ and understood exactly what I wanted. I’m over the moon with it and can’t wait to show it off!”

Following his positive experience, Tim intends to become an active limb user.

“We’re working on a device now that I can use in the gym, which I’m really excited about. Maybe I should get a 
bionic man finish on that one!”