“Hello, my name is Mapesho Mbambiko from Zambia, and I am currently a university student.  I have been a right-sided above knee amputee for the past seven years now.  I was involved in a terrible accident at the age of 17.  I accepted my situation but at times being a teenager at that time, it did get to me.  My family and friends were of great support to me during that time and through the support from family and friends I heard of Chris Harper.

I got to find out about Chris through my aunt's boss and colleague who happened to be an amputee.  My aunt enquired from him where he had his prosthesis made and he directed her to Chris and my aunt quickly informed my parents.  Of course we did have fears of coming to South Africa as foreigners because of the stories we heard, but my aunt assured us that everything would be ok and it was and my mum and I enjoyed coming out to South Africa.  Anyway so after writing my final high school exams, I headed down to South Africa with my mother and met Chris and Barbara.  They welcomed my mum and I very well.  They got to find out about me and how my accident occurred and at that point is when Chris explained to me that I was an above-knee amputee.  Everything was so new to me but Chris and Barbara helped me through the journey.  They also answered many questions that I had to ask.  One of the concerning questions I asked was about location, seeing as I was in Zambia and they were located in South Africa.  In my head I thought I would have to relocate to South Africa, but I never had to relocate at all.  Chris and Barbara set up very flexible appointments for me that allowed me to travel to South African whenever need be and also to monitor my progress.

When I met Chris and Barbara I already had a prosthesis but I was constantly on crutches because the prosthesis I had was not a stable one.  Chris explained to me the varous good prostheses offered and he guaranteed me that with the new prosthesis I would walk without crutches.  He also told me about how that I would be able to have a cosmetic finish on my prosthesis to make it look more realistic and that put a smile on my face!  Once he explained the various options I had and the various knees and feet available, I picked the one I wanted and the work began.  I first had to learn to walk without crutches and that is when I was introduced to their very nice and friendly physiotherapist, Lynda.  She, along with everyone at the practice helped me learn how to slowly get off the crutches, until I finally stopped using them.

I can go on and on, but through my journey as an above knee amputee and with the help of so many great people I have met through my journey, I have been able to overcome so much and accept my situation even better.  I have also realised that being an amputee has made me an even stronger person personally and has made me appreciate every little thing in life.  With the new prosthesis that Chris made me and the training received I am able to do almost everything that I enjoyed doing before my accident, like cooking, swimming, talking walks etc. and now I have even learnt to drive a car.  I am making sure to live a life without limits and so can you.”

Mapesho Mbambiko