Caroline hopes to raise €120k for ‘last chance’ pioneering surgery
Caroline McGrane is seeking your support

Caroline hopes to raise €120k for ‘last chance’ pioneering surgery

A LUCAN woman who has a goal to be able to walk again is hoping to raise €120,000 which will enable her to travel to Australia for a “last chance” pioneering surgery to fit a prosthetic leg.

Caroline McGrane (56) became an above the knee amputee in 2018, after spending 15 years struggling with complications following a knee replacement which resulted in her having a rare infection that led to the amputation.

Caroline had dreams to be able to walk in her local park again, walk the dog or even do the grocery shopping independently after her surgery, but these dreams were short-lived when she began to struggle with fitting a prosthetic.

“I had my leg amputated in January 2018 and the limb is very, very short,” Caroline told The Echo. “I have tried every prosthetic system, but I just did not get any that would stay on or fit me – we tried everything, and nothing would work.”

Unable to find a suitable prosthetic, Caroline uses a wheelchair whilst in the house and a mobility scooter outdoors but has a goal to be able to walk again.

“My last hope at being able to live my life to the fullest and get walking again is in Australia through a specialised surgical procedure called osseointegration,” said Caroline.

“In this procedure a metal rod is inserted into my leg bone protruding out through the skin and a prosthetic leg is then attached directly to the metal rod. This would mean that I would not have to use any of the suspension systems that have failed for me and means that I would be able to walk again using a prosthetic leg.”

The pioneering surgery is carried out by Professor Munjed Al Muderis in Sydney, Australia, who has taken Caroline’s case on. Between flights, accommodation, the prosthetic leg, aftercare and the surgery, the total cost is €120,000.

“He is the top surgeon, and because my case is so complex and my limb is so short, he has to do it, and because they make the implant in Australia it has to be him that does the surgery,” Caroline explained.

“The surgeon said to me, which were the nicest words I have heard in years, ‘you will walk back on the plane going back to Ireland’ and that was magic to me.”

The inability to walk has taken a toll on Caroline’s mental health, who says that she feels self-conscious and feels that her freedom has been taken away from her.

“I just never thought that I would be sitting in a wheelchair,” she said. “I look at the wheelchair and I say, ‘I hate you’.

“My confidence has hit the ground, but I just keep getting on with it and pretend that there is nothing wrong.”

Caroline has also started an online support group called Amputee Ireland on Facebook, which has 190 members that support each other in their journey and encourages other amputees or family members of amputees to join for support.

If you would like to find out more about Caroline’s journey or to donate, you can go to her GoFundMe page at ‘Caroline’s Dream is to walk again. Can you help?

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