Derick Schutte was only sixteen years old when he was involved in a motorbike accident last February, resulting in such severe trauma that he required an amputation just above the knee.
At the Meulmed/Icexpress Amputee Rehabilitation Unit the Icexpress Progressive Prosthetics Specialist Amputee Rehabilitation Team helped Derick with rapid wound healing and prepared him for a prosthesis. Two weeks into his rehab he received an interim prosthesis and started a rigorous program of muscle strengthening and balance exercises.
Just 21 days after the amputation Derick was fitted with his prosthesis and threw away his crutches!
His day-to-day Ossur prosthesis (Rheo Knee and Ceterus Foot) allows Derick the ability to walk down stairs leg-over-leg and run around, like boys his age usually do, as the Rheo Microprocessor Knee supports and predicts an amputee’s movement using artificial intelligence.
But Derick wanted to return to sports without his accident impacting negatively on his performance so he needed a second prosthesis. For this he chose another Ossur product, a Cheetah Blade (similar to the ones used by Oscar Pistorius) that allows Derick the support and energy he requires when competing.
By June last year Derick was playing cricket for his school’s 3rd team but performed so well that he was quickly promoted back to his old spot in the first team, bowling medium paced balls, batting and fielding in the slips. As Derick’s favourite sport, rugby, was no longer feasible, he compensated by playing even more sports than before the accident, taking up golf and athletics and working out, every single day, on his gym equipment at home.
He recently participated, as an able-bodied athlete, in the North West Inter-schools Athletics walking off with second place in the hammer throw (U17) and will be representing Gauteng North at the 2009 Nedbank National Championships (April 4-11) in Port Elizabeth, where he will try to better the South African records he set last year (U18) for Discus, Javelin and Shot Putt.
Good Luck Derick! Perhaps you should organise your passport now for London 2012!!