My name is Andy White and I’m 45 years old. I’m the consummate family man, I’m married to wife Donna, and we have two beautiful children, Daisy and Harry. I describe myself as an “active person, always on the go!” With three trades under my belt and a passion for adventurous holidays, I have a commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle. Being responsible for two young children, Donna and I decided to join a local gym as a way to hold ourselves accountable to a healthy lifestyle. This involved setting goals, and one of our main goals was to participate in fun runs, working towards a half marathon together.
Apart from family, my other love is motorbikes; not fast racey ones, but old vintage bikes. I would often be found in my garage tinkering or building these bikes. Living close to the Royal National Park, south of Sydney was the perfect setting for a ride. This is exactly what I found myself doing on a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon on the 7th of November 2014, when my life and the lives of my family members changed forever…
While riding through the Royal National Park, a 4WD with a bull-bar pulled out of a ’T’ intersection and drove straight into me, effectively crushing me between the bulbar and my bike. The base of my left femur was shattered, along with my kneecap, and there was significant muscular damage and blood loss. I was airlifted to St George Hospital in Sydney where I had the first of a dozen surgical procedures to save my life and leg. After the initial six hours in surgery, the surgeons had managed to put my leg back together; however, infection persisted and amputation was a likely outcome. After a further nine surgeries and 11 transfusions, the infection subsided, but I was faced with the reality of ongoing surgeries and never being able to walk properly. So on the 25th of November 2014 I had surgery to amputate my leg 8cm above my left knee. I was initially fitted with a Genius x3 prosthetic leg, a state of the art microprocessor that allowed me to attempt to run, swim and do most things. Injuries sustained to my hip initially limited mobility; however further surgery to remove built up calcification improved hip function and helped me move more freely. I was given the opportunity to attend several amputee mobility clinics where I was able to trial a running blade. I quickly discovered an increase in return and agility. For the first time since losing my leg, I felt light on my feet; a feeling I thought I would never experience again and can only be described as, “Pure Joy!”
Hearing about START Foundation and the great support offered to amputees, to enable them to participate in sport and have an active lifestyle, I applied for a grant. I was seeking funding to purchase a running blade to help me complete my sporting dream. In 2017 I received funding from START foundation to help purchase a running blade. Since the fitting of my running blade I have been able to assist in the coaching of my daughter’s soccer team and my son’s footy team. I have discovered many muscles that haven’t been used in years, but with the help of family and friends, I am able to push myself a little further every day. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to complete a half marathon with my wife, just as we had always planned to do and show my kids that anything is possible!
“Thank you START Foundation!”