Runner who lost leg tells of experience with prosthetic 'blade' to audience at Airedale Hospital lecture

Philip Sheridan

Philip Sheridan

First published in News

A local “blade runner” told a packed auditorium that running on his prosthetic limb can sometimes be as difficult as balancing a pencil on its tip.

In his talk, Philip Sheridan, 48, of Worth Village said the freedom it gives him is worth the hard work.

Mr Sheridan lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago. But a decade on and with a state-of-the-art running blade from the NHS, he is often spotted on local off-road trails.

Airedale Hospital played an important part in his physiotherapy, so when the NHS Foundation Trust asked him to talk to an audience about his story he was eager to return the favour.

The audience in the hospital’s lecture theatre, including students from Craven College’s sports therapy department, saw Mr Sheridan switch between his everyday prosthetic and the blade. He described swapping the prosthetics as “being a bit like Inspector Gadget”.

He added: “I got the blade, and you think you know how to move, but you have to learn all over again.”

The crowd learned one drawback of having a blade is you have to prepare in advance.

“You can’t be as spontaneous with activities because it might require a leg change. Sometimes I’ll forget to take my running leg,” said Mr Sheridan. “Running on the blade is like trying to balance a pencil on the point of its tip. But the incentive to get out and run is big enough to do it. It is a means of therapy for me, both physical and emotionally.”

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