Support for limb loss patients
April is Limb Loss Awareness Month. It is celebrated across the UK and around the world as a time to recognise those living with limb loss and to raise awareness about limb loss prevention.
Here, we would like to focus on an element of support offered here at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH). Hokey Cokey is a group created at ROH to share information and promote social opportunities to teenagers and young adults (TYA) with limb differences.
Cathy Cook, who is a Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator, helps support 13-24 year olds diagnosed with bone cancer who have undergone surgery resulting in amputation, or the fitting of an endoprosthetic replacement. As part of her role, Cathy provides emotional support, distraction and a non-clinical presence for patients attending the hospital for surgery to remove a tumour.
She says: “Over the past five years, I have supported young people and seen them facing the same physical and emotional challenges following life-changing surgery following a sarcoma diagnosis.
“And whilst there is much information available, there is a lack of age-appropriate resources for teenagers and young adults, which is why I created Hokey Cokey. I am now looking to further develop this to acknowledge the importance of peer support.”
The group welcomes parents, family members, friends and people of all ages to follow their social media pages for information.