18 year old amputee is one of the first UK non-military recipients to be fitted with the world's most advanced bionic leg from Ottobock to enable him to sail again
Laurence Greenough, an 18 year old from Plymouth who lost his leg in a sailing accident, has had his ability to get back on the water restored with the help of the world's most advanced bionic leg developed by mobility experts Ottobock. The Genium X3, originally designed for military personnel, is the only completely waterproof microprocessor prosthetic knee and has a Bluetooth remote control to switch between sailing, walking, jogging and cycling modes.
Laurence was just 10 years old when he lost his leg in a tragic accident in the sea. Sailing in Plymouth harbour, a routine capsize drill and subsequent incident with a safety boat went terribly wrong. The injuries Laurence sustained resulted in an above the knee amputation of his left leg. Only two months after the accident, Laurence was back on the water, choosing to use crutches to get around as there were no suitable waterproof prosthetic legs on the market; using a normal prosthesis in the sea would cause it to corrode.
Carrying on with his sailing dream, he was honoured with the prestigious Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year award in 2007, following in the footsteps of past winners including Olympic Gold medalist Ben Ainslie OBE and world class yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur.
As time went on, Laurence stopped sailing as the difficulties of sailing and doing other activities without a prosthetic leg became apparent. After three years on crutches he was referred to and fitted by Richard Nieveen of ProActive Prosthetics with a computer controlled prosthetic 'C-Leg' which provided him with improved mobility but could not be worn on deck due to the risk of water damage.
When Ottobock's Genium X3 was released Laurence was keen to find out more about the bionic leg which was designed for people who lead an adventurous lifestyle. He has just been fitted at the ProActive Prosthetics clinic in Surrey.
Laurence went sailing for the very first time on his new waterproof leg on yesterday along the south coast from Portsmouth Harbour on a 37 foot cruiser racing yacht with a team from ProActive Prosthetics.
"The first thing I planned to do was to take it sailing! It also has a 'walk to run' feature and bespoke running mode; I had not run since 2006 and it was the most exciting thing to be able to do it again. It makes walking feel so natural - I trust it and don't have to use so much energy. I feel safe and can just relax and let the leg do all the work."
The Genium X3 is the world's most technologically advanced prosthetic leg and features activity modes that will allow Laurence to take part in everything his friends do: sailing, grass boarding, running and football in the park. The bionic technology can be programmed from a laptop and can be switched manually between different modes using bluetooth. Sensors, a gyroscope and in-built computer mean the Genium X3 can be programmed to perfectly match Laurence's lifestyle.
Genium X3: Fast facts:
Richard Nieveen, Laurence's prosthetist at ProActive Prosthetics, explains:
"The set up and fitting of Laurence's new leg is tailored to get him back doing all of the things he enjoyed before his accident. We've also programmed a special sailing mode in the knee to allow him to move around the boat with ease - and of course he'll be safe in the knowledge that he can get it wet without any problem"
Ottobock - A world leading supplier of high quality, innovative and practical solutions that restore human mobility and help people to rediscover personal independence. Ottobock is part of the Ottobock global group of companies established in the UK in 1976. Its wide product range includes high quality prosthetic and orthotic components, wheelchairs, rehabilitation and mobility products available through the country's leading clinics and dealers. With a highly motivated and skilled team of professionals offering expert advice, product sales, service and support, Ottobock solutions enhance the physical comfort, confidence and mobility of the individual. Ottobock aims to achieve the best possible outcome for its customers, combining the latest technology with cutting-edge products and services.
ProActive Prosthetics - Founded in 1995, ProActive Prosthetics are today are one of the most experienced rehabilitation clinics in the UK working with persons who have suffered limb loss as a result of trauma. ProActive Prosthetics pride themselves in providing successful innovative solutions to meet individual needs for a wide variety of activities including horse-riding, sailing, canoeing, cycling and winter sports. They also work at an elite level with Paralympic athletes. ProActive Prosthetics are experts in socket design, which is the interface between the patient and prosthesis; optimizing the design and fit is fundamental to the success, especially when fitting Hi tech prosthetic technology such as the Genium X3 knee joint.
For more information on Ottobock's range of innovative solutions that restore mobility please visit www.ottobock.co.uk or follow @ottobockuk
For more information on ProActive Prosthetics please visit www.proactiveprosthetics.co.uk