Lifestyle

Community appeal for amputee

Daniel Beddal at his workplace Black Toyota where he drives the courtesy bus and fits accessories.
Daniel Beddal at his workplace Black Toyota where he drives the courtesy bus and fits accessories.

DANIEL Beddal of Seelands doesn't want to be the bionic man, he just wants to be able to walk along holding his son's hand and he's hoping the Clarence Valley community can help him do it.

Having tried three different traditional prosthetic legs since losing the majority of his right leg in the months after a dirt bike crash in August 2007, Daniel has resorted to crutches because of the problems he's had with the prosthetics.

"Normal prosthetics are pretty much your stump airlocked in a vacuum-sealed silicone liner - in the 40-degree heat around here it fills up with sweat - you get bruises, torn skin, blood blisters," Mr Beddal said.

"Your weight is on your pubic bone under your groin and your butt cheek."

Mr Beddal saw a TV report about a revolutionary computerised prosthesis using "osseo integration of the femoral stump" and he set about researching a new hope.

Some 12 months later, he is booked in to get stage one of the operation done at Macquarie Uni- versity's new hospital in early November at a cost of $45,000.

So far only about 20 people have had the revolutionary osseo integration procedure done in Australia.

While Medicare will provide

about $5000 funding, the rest will be paid for by the Beddals.

To help the family out, Grafton Midday Rotary has organised a Back to the 80s fundraiser at Roches Hotel Grafton on Saturday night (see fact box).

The two-stage procedure on the road to an integral leg prosthesis will involve surgeons hollowing out the marrow from Daniel's femur and inserting a titanium implant.

"Six weeks after the operation, the metal begins to bond with the bone," Mr Beddal said.

At this point, a further piece of titanium is screwed to the end of the implant and the second metal piece will protrude from the stump by about five centimetres.

To this will be attached a new prosthetic leg funded by the Federal Government at a cost of about $20,000, but Mr Beddal hopes to upgrade down the track to a robotic leg which will cost $70,000.

"It has a computer chip in it and a key chain remote to press when you want to jog, walk or stand still," Mr Beddal said. "They reckon you can get 99% of your leg's use back."

But the operation which will see weight transferred back to the bone, rather than the pelvis, is the main thing for Mr Beddal in the short term.

Full recovery is expected in anywhere between 6 and 12 months, depending on the individual.

Mr Beddal is married to Michelle Bolger and is the father of Tyler, 9, and Riley, 2.

More info at osseointegrationaustralia.com.au.

 

The crash

Mr Beddal was trail bike riding in Candole State Forest behind Brooms Head on October 5, 2007 when he lost control of the bike and rolled into some scrub.

He broke his tibia and fibula and though he didn't know it at the time, severed an artery which caused internal bleeding and the complications.

Three months and three operations later, his leg was removed from 15cm above his right knee.

Having ridden motorbikes for much of his life, Mr Beddal said he'd been in plenty of crashes and come out pretty well.

"It was just my unlucky day."

 

Back to the 80s

  • Saturday, October 6, 7pm
  • Roches Hotel, Grafton
  • 80s dance off
  • Prize for best 80s costume
  • Heaps of prizes
  • Cost $15

The event is a fundraiser to help ease the Beddal family's financial burden from upcoming revolutionary operations.

Topics:  community, daniel beddal, health, prosthetic limb


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