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Camberley amputee on mission to create better care for those who lose their limbs

Ray Edwards

6:02am 5th June 2015
(Updated 6:07am 5th June 2015)

Calls for an end to the 'postcode lottery', when it comes to amputee care, from a Camberley man who lost four of his limbs.

Having recovered from Hodgkin's disease, Ray Edwards developed blood poisoning when he was 32 years old.

He was working on a building site in Addlestone when he cut his hand, and because he had had his spleen taken out as part of his Hodgkin's treatment, the infection spread.

Married with one year old twins, doctors removed both of his legs below the knee, and both of his arms from the elbow.

Ray learned to walk again with prosthetic legs, but struggled, battling with alcohol problems and trying to commit suicide:

"You can rebuild the body, but you can't rebuild the mind.

"I might have been the robotic man, but inside I was eating up with hatred, with fear.

"You don't realise losing as limb is a bereavement and it is a part of your body that dies.

"To get over that takes time and time and time."

He drove a car at high speed into a tree, but survived. This was the turning point for Ray, he then decided to put his energy into helping others.

Five years ago he set up Limbcare, and has since been awarded an MBE and the charity a Queens Award.

The charity offers advice and support to amputees and their families.

Ray tells Eagle his dream is to raise enough to open a 'Wellbeing Centre' for those that have lost limbs, as he believes the aftercare, when someone is given a prosthetic limb, is not always good enough:

"A building where you're families and friends and the amputee can go in there, and understand how to cope with the disability.

"We get call daily, families that are really frustrated.

"In the United Kingdom there are 43 centres building limbs, and it is a postcode lottery to get the best centre that there is.

"In some places it is brilliant, in some places it isn't. The waiting time is terribly hard at the moment, waiting for a limb.

"There are 43 centres that do their best, but some are under-manned, and we haven't got the quality there all the time.

"If we could have a better service, then we'd be alright. Our future is a bit of a worry at the moment."

Today Ray and a group of amputees are heading to Wales. Over the weekend they are climbing Snowdon for Limbcare. 

Read more about the event

Sponsor Ray

Limbcare Facebook Page

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