Back in November 2015, I was watching BBC Children in Need, which contained the story of several children whom had one or more lower limbs amputated. The program showed children with standard prosthetic legs; their movements slow, stiff and lethargic. The children struggled to walk and complained of the discomfort they experienced in wearing the prosthetic limbs. The video then showed a group of children wearing running blades.
The contrast was unbelievable, the children whom where wearing the running blades where running around happily, laughing, smiling and participating in sports such as gymnastics. The quality of the children’s lives was dramatically improved and it was as if they had received their childhood back. It was a truly amazing spectacle.
The presenter then informed the viewers that the running blades cost around £6,000 and they were not available on the NHS and that the running blades shown in the video had been purchased by the children’s parents/guardians. I clearly wasn’t the only one who could see the improvement in the children’s quality of life, because in 2016 the UK government made £1.5m in NHS funding available for the purchase of 500 children’s running blades. According to the Department of Health and Social Care Media Centre, the first children received their running blades in January 2017 and may there be many more!
I know some may feel that this post is a little dated, but given the significant difference running blades make to the life of children, so long as there are children without them, it was always be relevant.
You can read more about it here: https://healthmedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/01/07/first-children-sports-limbs-nhs/