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Matt Short - Achieving his dream to compete for a place in the 2018 Winter Sport Paralympics

24, January 2018

“The London Prosthetic Centre has been fantastic. They’re incredibly efficient and they really know what they’re doing. they are working very hard to fine tune the design of my leg at every stage and I’m very confident they’ll deliver exactly what I need.” Matthew Short

Teamwork

At the age of 17 in 2007, Matt visited the hospital to discuss the pain and swelling in his right heel which was sustained during a football tackle. An avid sportsman and a talented skier, Matt received the shocking news that his injury was, in fact, Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Chemotherapy treatment began quickly and after intensive therapy, the outcome was life-changing with Matt’s Doctor recommending a below-knee amputation. Matt confessed, “Having cancer had been bad enough already, but the thought of losing a leg was devastating for someone who lives to play sport and be active”.

During this time Matt faced having to live his young life with limb loss. Thankfully after surgery, Matt was back at school in no time seeing his friends and getting on with school work. Keeping focused, Matt set his heart on making a return to sport, particularly skiing, an activity he has always enjoyed. However, Matt’s NHS prosthesis, whilst allowing him to engage in a range of sporting activities was not well-suited to the slopes, due to its lack of stability and manoeuvrability.
Matt visited The London Prosthetic Centre and together with Abdo discussed his requirements for a new ski leg. Pushing his body to the limit, Matt began to ski again, even training alongside the British Disabled Ski Team. After being inspired by the 2012 games, matt decided to aim for a place in the 2018 Paralympics Ski team and began to train even more. Matt, together with coaches, John Clark and Euan Bennet met with Abdo at clinic to discuss his requirements and adaptations needed for his ski leg to be at a competitive level on the slopes. With new technology available, a highly adaptable ski leg was custom-made including high endurance adaptations on the residual limb ensuring excellent manoeuvrability.
For LPC, the aim was to provide Matt with the ideal solution – to help him achieve his goals on the slopes and embark on his Paralympic dream. The team worked tirelessly to create a new custom ski leg, specific to Matt’s requirements. With only a few weeks left to make the qualification criteria, Matt has been purely focused on his times and if he is lucky enough to be selected, his aim is to reach his peak in time for the biggest event in para-alpine skiing later this year.

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