'I couldn't go to the shops': Amputee shares challenges

FORMER Murgon resident and double amputee Shona Muckert is encouraging people to spare a thought for amputees during National Amputee Awareness Week.

"I think people are unaware of what it is like to live with what we live with every day," she said.

In May 2004, Miss Muckert was involved in a tragic car accident in Murgon which resulted in both her legs being amputated.

NEW CHALLENGE: Shona Muckert will represent Australia in the sport of Outrigging next month.
"I couldn't go into the shops, I didn't like that people would look at me," Shona Muckert


It was a long road to recovery and she found one of the biggest challenges was transitioning back into daily living.

"I couldn't go into the shops, I didn't like that people would look at me," she said.

"They still do it now but it doesn't bother me as much anymore."

"These days, I go past other amputees in the shops and we do a bit of a truckies wave to each other."

As a single parent, Miss Muckert said it could be difficult as a double amputee to do the things her seven-year-old son, Quinn, liked to do.

"He loves fishing, but in a wheelchair I can't get too close to the river banks and that's where the good fishing is," she said.

"It's really hard to supervise him."

National Amputee Awareness Week starts on Thursday, October 4, and the state co-ordinator for Amputees and Families Support Group Queensland, Linda Foulis, said it was a good reminder of what amputees dealt with each day.

"Lots of people don't realise the challenges amputees face just doing everyday things," she said

"For instance, just to go to the toilet at night time or get a glass of water can be extremely time consuming."

Mrs Foulis has been with the organisation for three years and was motivated to be involved as she has a family member who is an amputee.

Mrs Foulis said she had been amazed by the talents some amputees had, including one volunteer who was a congenital amputee and had no arm from the shoulder

"He used his feet for everything, he was amazing," she said.

"His handwriting was neater than most people's."

The Amputees and Families Support Group is hosting several events at various hospitals, and lunches throughout Queensland for Amputee Awareness Week.

National Amputee Awareness Week runs from Thursday, October 4 to Thursday, October 11.

Mrs Foulis said residents could help raise awareness by purchasing a ribbon. To do so, phone their office on 07 3290 4293.