Jamie Nepia's RHEO KNEE & Pro-Flex XC Story


“When you go down, the only way to come is up”

Jamie Nepia

In 2018, I incurred a shotgun wound to my leg and was rushed to the hospital where I had limb salvage surgery to save my leg. Being unable to stand up three months after undergoing multiple surgeries, lead me to decide to have my leg amputated. I knew this would allow me to walk again and I would no longer be dependent on my wheelchair or be required to undergo any more surgeries. 

As a single mum of five incredible kids, it was important for me to get back to my busy life and be there for my whanau (family). It’s taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, including counselling for PTSD, and being able to go boxing has saved me.  

When kids ask me what happened to my leg, I tell them I didn’t eat my veggies. My first prosthesis, ‘Legacy’, was a metal-looking leg and I found it hard to come to terms with my amputation. I had trouble with bullies on social media but boxing helped increase my fitness and empowered me through learning self-defence. I had many falls, but I persisted to remain active.   

As a single mum of five incredible kids, it was important for me to get back to my busy life and be there for my whanau (family). It’s taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, including counselling for PTSD, and being able to go boxing has saved me.  

When kids ask me what happened to my leg, I tell them I didn’t eat my veggies. My first prosthesis, ‘Legacy’, was a metal-looking leg and I found it hard to come to terms with my amputation. I had trouble with bullies on social media but boxing helped increase my fitness and empowered me through learning self-defence. I had many falls, but I persisted to remain active.   

As a single mum of five incredible kids, it was important for me to get back to my busy life and be there for my whanau (family). It’s taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, including counselling for PTSD, and being able to go boxing has saved me.  

When kids ask me what happened to my leg, I tell them I didn’t eat my veggies. My first prosthesis, ‘Legacy’, was a metal-looking leg and I found it hard to come to terms with my amputation. I had trouble with bullies on social media but boxing helped increase my fitness and empowered me through learning self-defence. I had many falls, but I persisted to remain active.   

My new prosthesis is a RHEO KNEE XC and Pro-Flex XC and it looks awesome! I like that it blends in and fills my trouser leg. I also like that I don’t have to worry about walking in the rain as it is water-resistant. I think it’s so cool that it’s electronic and I can charge my leg! My prosthetic leg is much safer than my old leg and the knee gives me an extra boost. I have more energy and my walking has improved; I even go hiking now! I love that Travis (my Prosthetist) can adjust my leg as I improve by using the Össur Logic App. I also really like that it lets me know when the battery is running low.   

The RHEO KNEE XC has been great for the gym and the mechanical lock gives me added security when training. With the RHEO KNEE XC, I can do squats and maintain balance. I can even pick up my 2-year-old nephew and carry him, which I didn’t have the confidence to do on my old leg.  

My whanau (family) tell me I walk more and that I’ve lost weight. I’m also more motivated and independent since getting the RHEO KNEE XC. Nowadays I love a challenge and I’m really looking forward to my first Boxing match; especially as it will be the first New Zealand Women’s Amputee Boxing match!

Prosthetist: Travis Fraser from Wellington Peke Waihanga NZ

I met Jamie following her left above knee amputation resulting from gunshot trauma. 

I prescribed the RHEO KNEE XC and Pro-Flex XC as her second prescription following her increase in mobility. She was becoming more active but felt like she reached a ceiling with the product she was using at that time. She struggled to progress past using two walking sticks and was not improving in terms of her level of mobility and confidence. She reported some falls and near misses on slopes and had to think hard about every move. She avoided uneven terrain like it was her job which limited her participation in activities with family and friends. 

The RHEO KNEE XC is easy to set up for the user and has a beautiful effortless action with a smooth and responsive yield that was fine-tuned to the user. The RHEO KNEE XC continually adapts to the user's needs and optimises the heel rise. I’ve found automatic stair and cycling recognition is so intuitive and easy for the user (no need to bounce on the toe or use an app to switch modes) and the manual locking function is also handy. I like that the service interval is only required at 40 months making it a very reliable and convenient knee to have for patients. 

The Pro-Flex XC has and always will be a favourite foot in the P&O world. The Pro-Flex XC is a very energetic foot that just really propels the user forward so for Jamie and her lifestyle it is a nice pair with the Rheo. The Seal-In X TF Liner fits her well and provides her firm suspension giving her confidence to move throughout the day and whilst exercising knowing her socket fit is secure.  

Jamie found the Manual Lock-In Knee helpful for those exercises like planks, push-ups, and skipping where you just want to lock the knee up without a major delay. This makes these exercise positions simpler, more balanced and less cumbersome. 

After being on this combination for almost a year, our client has gained incredible amounts of mobility and confidence. She experiences fewer falls while pushing her limits physically. She has gone from using two sticks to no sticks. She no longer avoids uneven terrain and can focus her energy on her surrounding environments and tasks at hand instead of thinking about her leg. 

This prescription does everything our client needs it to do. From keeping up with her kids to work/study and boxing training in the evening it has her covered. Because she lives rurally and is busy, having confidence in the reliability of the knee and a single 40-month service requirement was attractive to us and convenient for her with less trips to the Limb Centre required. 

There are also activities that she can do now with the RHEO KNEE XC and Pro-Flex XC that she was not able to do before such as navigating stairs and slopes, participating in more frequent physical training for boxing and she is building her strength to be able to run. 

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