A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl from Llansantffraid can play football for the first time thanks to the surprise arrangement of a specialised prosthetic leg.
Ffion Rudman, of Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain, has received a ‘blade’ after funding was arranged by her prosthetist.
Ffion lost her leg when she was three as she contracted sepsis after falling ill with pneumonia when she was two.
The £2,500 ‘blade’ allows her to run and participate in sports such as football with football-for-fun group Soccerholics.
Mum Helen said: “So she went for a fitting. They didn’t say about a blade, but the next time we went to pick up a new prosthetic she brought out a blade. We were really surprised.
“I think her prosthetist had a lot of sway in it.
“Ffion was very excited, she said ‘I can’t wait. I’m going to be running with my friends’.
“She is doing really well. She adores Soccerholics.”
Helen had been trying to acquire the blade for Ffion for a while, but has been faced with a funding gap between Wales and England.
She said: “I managed to get hold of a girl who had a blade made. But apparently the budget towards funding for children was only in England. We are just two miles over the boarder.
“We went up to the clinic in Wrexham and they said it is really difficult to get the budget for it. All Ffion wanted to do was keep up with her friends.”
Before receiving the blade, Ffion had been using a basic, jointless prosthetic.
Helen added: “Before it was just a plain leg without an actual joint. She was complaining about being last in all the races and now she can keep up. It’s wonderful.”
Now able to see their little girl play sports, parents Helen and Frank have gone through a lot to reach this point.
Speaking about when Ffion fell ill, Helen said: “It was absolutely horrendous. We lost her for 12 minutes. Everything shut down, but they saved her.
“She has a disabled badge now, so when we pull up and she jumps out of the car running about, it can be quite embarrassing because you feel like you have to explain.”
Ffion turns seven in September and is looking forward to honing her football skills.
Helping her with that will be Soccerholics coach, Craig Edwards.
Soccerholics focuses on accepting all skill levels and allowing everyone to enjoy participating in the sport.
Mr Edwards said: “Ffion has had the prosthetic a couple of weeks now and she has done really well.
“I have known the Rudmans most of this academic year.
“We have been delivering soccer, at the school.
“We had a request if it is okay for Ffion to join us. At the time she had an old attachment.
“Mum wanted her to be involved and we said we would give it a go. She’s just like any other child, totally not fazed at all, she’s amazing.
“Our sessions are inclusive of everyone and that is something we are really proud of because it gives kids like Ffion a chance to get involved.”
Now, Helen wants to see the funding brought to the entirety of Wales.
“The Welsh Government should definitely look at funding blades,” she added.
“Ffion is getting on so well. When she needs a new leg. If the Welsh Government don’t fund it then we are going to have to do some fundraising.”
See full story in the County Times