Tina Sanderson is becoming more independent and actively getting out into nature thanks to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports.
The Captain Creek local uses water-proof prosthetics to allow her to get in the water at the beach, in the shower or at her own dam.
Tina uses a waterproof prosthetic leg with a releasable ankle, allowing a realistic swimming action when at the beach, as well as a prosthesis fitted with a ‘Rush’ foot for showering when she cannot use an accessible shower and when navigating barefoot at her dam and other wet areas.
Tina said her independence has improved greatly with the new prosthetics.
“Getting in and out of water without a purpose-built wet leg is extremely difficult, and generally required help… or at the very least a lot of forward planning, and swimming at the beach alone was completely out of the question,” she said.
“While it is easier in calm water than surf, it is much more fun catching a wave. I couldn't even consider this before.
“I am a bit of a self-proclaimed hippie, I guess, as my toes need to get dirty, and while the leg I generally wear to walk is super comfortable, it's not designed for going barefoot, or in mud; this is where the Rush foot has had a massive positive impact.
“I also have an old leg that the socket was re-done on which is cosmetically appealing and is nice to wear with a dress and boots, so I can go out and no one even notices I'm an amputee.”
Tina is also using NDIS funding to access support workers to help her around the home, and has had home modifications, particularly in her bathroom, to make it easier to live on a rural property independently.
Tina received assistance to apply for and implement her NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Gladstone region.
She said it has been life-changing for her since accessing the NDIS two years ago.
“When I accessed the NDIS I was having a lot of trouble with my stump; it was crippling and I felt like a drain on my friends,” she said.
“My new legs allow me far greater independence and I am far more active.
“I didn’t want to be a burden, so it has freed me physically, and that in turn also puts me in a better place mentally.”
Tina is also gaining more confidence in other aspects of her life.
“Music is a big thing for me – I sing part-time in a duo performing blues, rock and jazz, and I dabble with various instruments.
“And I love animals; I have a dog, cat and a few horses on my property. I would love to get confident in the saddle again. Horse riding again one day would be great”.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or email@example.com