Billy Lee is back on own two feet as he takes first steps using his new bionic leg
- Credit: Archant
The family of Billy Lee are celebrating after watching him walk on his two feet again thanks to a bionic leg that fitted at a specialist clinic in Dorset.
Just eight months after a fund raising drive was launched following the devastating news that he had an aggressive form of cancer forcing amputation of his leg and part of his hip, he is back in action.
Tracy Annandale of the Dorset Orthopaedic Company, said: “What a very determined and lovely young man he is. It was humbling to watch him test out the new leg.
“Wednesday was spent getting the leg ready, the clinician had to programme it especially for Billy using a laptop.
“Billy tried it out for the first time and took some serious strain, but he was happy and determined.
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“Once people come to us they become part of the family, the leg he has is fantastic, all singing, all dancing.
“It is humbling to watch patients try out their new limb for the first time.
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“This stuff is life changing. Absolutely brilliant,” she said.
The family were over-whelmed when within just eight weeks they raised £70,000 to buy the leg.
However, because it works on a complex bionic system it needs servicing every five years at a cost of £18,500.
Billy, 20, has been supported by hundreds of friends and strangers as well as his employers Bloom and Wake, who are holding his apprenticeship open for him ready for when he is well enough to get back to work.
Writing on the Billy Lee campaign Facebook page, his mum Rebecca wrote: “We can’t wait to post pictures next weekend for you all too see what your kind and generous donations and support will have achieved for our son.
”A huge thank you to everyone that organised Billy Lee funday, Marina and Stuart Norris, Jackie Ford, Martin Holmes and Paul Albutt.
“So many names to mention, you know who you are, but our biggest thanks to all of you and to everyone that came to the day to ensure it’s success.
“Billy couldn’t believe looking around that everyone involved was there to help him.
“Even after so many events it is still very humbling to experience, knowing you are all there to support our son.”
The new leg gives Billy plenty of time to test it out before celebrating his 21st birthday at the end of November.
The specialist centre in Devon have fitted an Ottobock Helix 3D leg which uses ground-breaking technology to give a more natural walk.
It has three-dimensional pelvic rotation which mimics the natural movement of the human body and helps users start their step more smoothly.
“The results are dramatic,” said an Otto Bock spokesman, who added that users will “spend much less energy thinking about the next step and experience less pain in the back and joints.”
Ottobock, makers of the bionic leg that Billy will be walking on, has been a partner in the Paralympic Games since 1988 and last year provided technical support for the first Invictus Games, a contest that saw more than 400 wounded soldiers from 14 nations compete in nine different sports including indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball and road cycling,