Clarendon double amputee gets prosthetic legs after Observer story
Surgix Jamaica CEO Winfield Boban (second right) assists prosthetic technician Alistaire Clarke (left) with getting Andrew Nelson's measurement during a consultation at Surgix Jamaica Limited on March 29. Prosthetic technician Jordan Dawkins looks on. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Double amputee Andrew Nelson always had the goal of getting prosthetic legs.

Just hours after the Jamaica Observer published his story on March 26, 2023, the 44-year-old received a phone call about the positive news, which made him realise it would be possible to achieve that goal.

The story, 'Double amputee pineapple farmer is Clarendon's inspiration', detailed Nelson's determination to make ends meet and saw scores of people commending him and reaching out to help, including the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which will provide financial assistance for him to receive his prosthetic legs free of cost.

"Mi feel great, you know, because I am getting prosthetic legs, mi excited. It was a goal to get it and it feels great to know that I will achieve one of my goals," Nelson told the Observer during last week's consultation at Surgix Jamaica, the company responsible for providing the prosthetic legs.

Surgix Jamaica CEO Winfield Boban (left) greets Andrew Nelson with a warm handshake last Wednesday. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

He said even though it will be tough adjusting to the prosthetic legs, he will be willing to take on the challenge.

"I just have to adjust to it, it's a good thing. It is going to be a difference because I am going to be tall now. It is going to be a bit windy up there, but I am going to get used to it after a while," said Nelson with a bright smile.

"When I am going in the field I am not going to wear it because it is a hilly terrain and I have to do what I do best down there with my knees, but when I am going on the road now, I will be wearing it," added Nelson.

As Nelson was approached by CEO of Surgix Jamaica Winfield Boban, he was greeted with a warm handshake.

"You will be getting legs!" a cheerful Boban told Nelson.

Boban told the Observer that he was fond of Nelson's positive attitude, which will make the life-changing process a bit easier for him.

"He has a tremendous spirit, a winning spirit. He truly doesn't have any disability, he has a limb challenge. This guy is absolutely the spirit of what true tenacity is, it will be a joy to work with him," he said.

Boban told the Observer that Nelson has a challenging case as he partially has knees for support.

"The challenge would be to get him not only prosthetic but prosthetic which incorporates the knees so that he can bend and flex. He has a bit of fatty tissues that needs to be reduced," said Boban, adding that he should get his prosthetic legs in six weeks.

"We have some very qualified physiotherapists who will help him through that process and will make them [prosthetic legs] accessible so we can get him, if we need to, and have regular sessions," he added.

At the same time, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said he was impressed by Nelson's resilience and decided to help.

"I read the story in your publication and was inspired by his industriousness and felt that we should give him the best opportunity to succeed," he said.

In the meantime, as Nelson still aims to acquire a licence for his quad bike and get pineapple suckers, he thanked the health ministry and others who reached out to help.

"Ministry of Health and people reaching out to me, thank you so much for the help I am getting. I am grateful for it. Thank you guys," a pleased Nelson said.

See related story:

Double amputee pineapple farmer is Clarendon's inspiration

BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON Observer staff reporter

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