Deborah Racklyeft’s Story

I lost my right leg above the knee due to osteosarcoma of the proximal tibia back in 1973. I followed my dream of becoming a veterinarian, being supported by my family, friends and love of animals, particularly horses.

I worked as a specialist equine vet for 30 years, initially at the University of Sydney and finally with my husband in the Upper Hunter Valley, where we settled and had two children.

My early prosthetic needs began in Sydney as I rapidly discovered which prosthetic components would stand up (or not) to the rigours of being an animal veterinarian. Once I was settled in the Hunter, APC Prosthetics (Ron Wright and more lately Paul Nixon) took over my prosthetic needs.

When I retired from veterinary practice, my prosthetic needs changed. I now needed a leg that would help me ambulate with minimal strain on my back and "good" leg and still allow me to be active as I love being outside, gardening, walking and going horse riding.

In the last 12 months with assistance from the NDIS and with Paul's advice, I have acquired a new prosthesis, the RHEO KNEE® XC and Pro-Flex® Pivot foot. This has been a fantastic step forward for me. I can walk further with less effort and the natural swing motion makes my walking more efficient. The bad habits of 45 years are proving to be difficult to shift, but I am excited by the prospect of improving my technique to make the best use of the microprocessor knee. I have had an active wonderful life so far and my aim is to stay healthy and mobile into my retirement years. I am lucky to have access to such advanced prosthetics.