A DIABETES sufferer who decided to have his leg amputated so he could run again has revealed he is feeling ‘amazing’ after taking the first few steps with his new prosthetic limb.
As previously reported, Loyd Durham, who has had type 1 diabetes for 20 years, had the operation in February to give him a new lease of life.
Friends and runners have been clubbing together to raise funds for a specially fitted blade – typically costing up to £7,000 – so Loyd, 41, can live his dream and run again.
But in the meantime Loyd is getting accustomed to wearing a new NHS funded prosthetic limb which will allow him to run, though not to the same level as a specially fitted blade.
The overwhelming level of support has seen the fundraising target increase from £3,500 to £7,000 – allowing Loyd to secure a better quality fitted blade that will help his performance when back out on the track.
As it stands, nearly £6,00 has been raised but with other donations set to come in that will take the amount close to the target.
After taking his first few steps last week with his new prosthetic leg, Loyd said: ‘It’s amazing. Having the operation has lived up to all my expectations.
‘I’m feeling really good after walking with my new leg for the first time, which was about a week earlier than expected. I just thought I’d give it a go and fortunately was able to do it.
‘I was pretty exhausted, though, as I haven’t used any of the muscles in my leg for about two months. During my session I walked and went through obstacle courses with different terrains and steps.
‘The prosthetic leg doesn’t feel much different to before when I had my real leg but now I just don’t have the pain. I certainly don’t have any regrets about having the operation.’
Gosport Road Runners member Loyd, of Broadsands Drive, Gosport, said he would have had the amputation before after his situation became so dire following a bike accident in 2016.
Complications following that crash led to him suffering charcot disease – a serious foot condition often brought on by diabetes.
Loyd said there is likely to be tenderness and a period of adjustment while he gets used to wearing his new prosthetic leg but is confident that soon it will feel normal.
‘It has made my life easier getting around the flat,’ he said.
‘I can get in and out of the shower and can walk back from the kitchen with a cup of tea without throwing it everywhere after I was donated a hands-free crutch.
‘Everyone has been so generous in supporting me and I’m also in talks with a paralympian group who want to sponsor and train me.’
A band night at Park Tavern in Gosport was a roaring success after Startled Monkeys donated their fee, while there have been a host of other charities and groups who have pledged support including Baffins Fit Club and Southsea Park Run.
Loyd is still targeting the Golden Mile race on June 17 as his comeback – whether he has his blade by then or not. ‘Nothing is going to stop me taking part in that race, even if I can only walk I will still be there,’ he said.
To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/shona-rust