Nid Jamporn's RHEO KNEE XC & Flex-Run Story
My name is Amonrat Jamporn, but my friends call me Nid. I was born in Thailand and now live in Australia with my husband Alex and two children, Diw (10 years old) and Alicia (3 years old). In May 2015, I was involved in a motorbike accident while in Thailand where I sustained serious injuries resulting in the loss of my left leg above the knee. It was a very scary and worrying time not knowing what my future would hold being so young, but with the support of friends and family, I have gotten back to a very active lifestyle.
Getting my first prosthetic was a very exciting yet challenging time as I had to learn to walk all over again. However, with perseverance I was able to not only walk, but get back into playing badminton, a sport I loved pre-accident. In 2018, I started participating in some tournaments in Australia. With the help of Ian Bridge from Para-Badminton Australia, and my trainer Brian Koentjoro from NBC who offered to coach and support me, I played my first Para-Badminton event in Geelong, Melbourne. In 2019, I went on to compete in my first overseas international tournament in Bangkok, Thailand where I won my first international match.
After getting a real taste of competitive badminton on the world stage, I was very happy with how my first major tournament went. However, I realised I was at a huge disadvantage with my prosthetic leg compared to other competitors. I was using my basic everyday prosthetic leg which restricted my movement and ability to be agile on court, compared to my peers who were wearing sports-specific legs. Upon my return to Australia and with the help of the NDIS and the amazing people at APC Prosthetics, I was fitted with the Össur RHEO KNEE XC for my new everyday leg, and the Flex-Run sports blade which I now use to play badminton. Since being fitted with the Flex-Run, this has developed my badminton game to a much higher level and my movement has gone from about a 2/10 to a 10/10. This gives me the confidence to compete with the best Para-Badminton players on the world stage.
Compared to my previous legs, being fitted with the RHEO KNEE XC has been a game-changer. The RHEO KNEE XC has given me the confidence to go about everyday tasks, like chasing my kids, without having to worry about the stability of my leg or falling (which I often had on my old leg). My friends and family have seen massive growth in my confidence levels as I can now participate in a lot more activities like taking long walks and playing in the park with my kids. I am now able to complete chores around the home which I used to take for granted, such as carrying baskets of washing up and down our back steps. I can now walk up and down steep hills (which used to be near impossible) and many other daily tasks that most people take for granted.
As a busy mum doing school drop-offs, taking care of our young family, as well as attending 2x badminton training and 2x social games a week, the Össur prosthetic legs have been life-changing to me and my family. I now feel I can achieve anything in life.
Nicholas Haw on Nid's Prosthetic Journey
Nid is a mother of two young children and is a competitive badminton player hoping to make it to the Paralympics. Prior to fitting the RHEO KNEE XC, Nid had a history of falls. Not because of balance issues, but because she was a highly active person with a prosthesis that couldn’t keep up with her busy lifestyle. Nid previously used a lightweight hydraulic knee which relied on a high degree of voluntary control. Most of the time she would have good control of the knee, but it only takes a moment of lost concentration or an unseen toy on the floor to cause an unexpected fall. Since using the RHEO KNEE XC, Nid experienced no falls despite an increase in the time she spends using her prosthesis. As her confidence in the new knee has increased, her gait has also improved with her spending a more even amount of time on both sides.
Nid has two kids who she looks after and is responsible for all the drop offs and pickups at school and day-care. It is understandable that she would get distracted many times a day which is why she typically used to fall. Nid mentioned that she was particularly worried that she would one day have a fall while holding her 3-year-old. The RHEO KNEE XC has allowed her to walk with greater confidence and greater speed, including running to keep up with her kids when needed. I was concerned that Nid would find the RHEO KNEE XC heavy given her very low body weight and the much lighter knee she had been using, but she never commented on the weight and when I asked her about it, she didn’t think it weighed any more than her old one.
The benefit of the RHEO KNEE XC for Nid is primarily improved safety, especially when she is going a mile-a-minute. She doesn’t have to be constantly thinking about foot position and whether she is safe or not. This has led to an increase in her walking speed which is really important to her. She could never run before, but now she can keep up with her kids. One day she’d like to get back into cycling. She hadn’t done that since she had the amputation and is keen to do that with her family.
The Össur Logic App for programming the RHEO KNEE XC is very easy to use. I have the app on my phone so whenever she comes in for her appointment and needs an adjustment, or I want to check her activity, it is straight forward. Setting her up on the knee initially was just a matter of fine-tuning which is made simple with instructional notes along the way.
Nid was fitted with a Flex-Run for her sports prosthesis to allow her to play badminton. Nid plays badminton twice a week and trains every week as well. She hopes to compete in the Paralympics. She was previously using her old everyday leg with the hydraulic knee and was slow and falling down a lot. We had a meeting with Nid and her coach to discuss what other transfemoral amputees were using out there and what would be best for her. We ended up making her a badminton leg that has no knee. We trialled a few different high energy feet and she loved the Flex-Run.
I wasn’t sure how she would handle not having a heel but that ended up being a real advantage for her despite not having a knee. It brought an instant smile to her face. The energy return and grip she has on the floor allows her to move quickly in any direction, which is perfect for badminton. Wearing the Flex-Run has improved her safety and speed on the court. She has increased the amount of time she spends playing badminton and has improved her game dramatically.