SCUH's first in-house prostheses patient 'graduates' from rehab

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Staff and fellow patients lined the halls of the Rehabilitation Unit at SCUH to give prostheses patient Kadeem Dirlow a celebratory farewell.

The first inpatient to receive prosthetic limbs made and fit in-house at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, has 'graduated' from the rehabilitation unit.

Kadeem Dirlow was injured in a motor vehicle crash just over five months ago, with his injuries leading to both legs needing amputation. 

He underwent a long recovery process, but was able to have his prosthetic legs made and fit, while he was continuing to rehabilitate at SCUH. 

He today reached the remarkable milestone of leaving hospital - walking. 

The team says there are multiple benefits to the service now being offered at SCUH.

"As soon as he was ready to start wearing prosthetic legs post-operatively, we could pretty much start making them and getting him up and walking straight away, whereas ordinarily he would have had to wait to get into a clinic," Senior Prosthetist and Orthotist Maegan Morrison said. 

"It's hugely important because it gets our patients up on legs sooner, it gets them through their rehab journey sooner, and if we can get them up earlier after their surgery, usually we find their rehab journey is much quicker as well," she said.  

The service also means patients can continue to undergo rehabilitation as inpatients, while adjusting to their prostheses. 

"Inpatient rehab is huge for our amputees because they get an intensity they can't get if they were doing outpatient or day rehab."

Staff and fellow patients lined the halls of the Rehabilitation Unit this morning, to give Kadeem a celebratory farewell.

"It's amazing to see where someone like Kadeem's come from, from not being able to move himself around the hospital bed at all, to be able to get up on two prosthetic legs and be able to walk out of here," Advanced Physiotherapist Amanda Baker said. 

"It's a testament to his determination and character that he's made it this far."

Kadeem said an emotional thank you to the many teams who have helped in his recovery. 

"It's been a long journey," he said. 

"Everyone's been really good."