David’s life-changing prosthetic
David Pither left the Royal Marines in 1987 and pursued a 26-year career in the Avon and Somerset Police. During the latter part of his time in the police, he started to suffer from several serious medical problems, including Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in his left leg.
David left the Force in 2016 and moved to Portugal, where he had 2 privately funded procedures on his leg. This cost circa £10K. Unfortunately, again these operations were unsuccessful and in 2019, he had a below the knee amputation of his left leg.
“This prosthesis has changed my life. It has helped me regain a quality of life and allow me to resume some normal activities.”
In February of that year, he saw a consultant orthopaedic surgeon where a request was placed for a prosthetic that could be used for running and cycling. In the 19 months that followed, nothing was heard, and all enquiries proved negative, and he remained wheelchair-bound. In 2020, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity learned of his problems and a Royal British Legion caseworker was tasked. Last year Dave was given a prosthetic which was at best not fit for purpose and he sought further private medical care.
It transpired that the limb was not the one the consultant ordered but because of financial constraints, it was the best the health service could provide. Again, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity got involved and an approach to BLESMA was made. From here on in, the future started to look brighter. After consultation with BLESMA, David was tasked to get quotes for a privately made prosthetic which was done along with several physiotherapy sessions.
It was agreed that BLESMA and RMA – The Royal Marines Charity would finance the new prosthetic.
“Thank you to RMA and BLESMA for giving me back my life.”
David runs a dog rescue centre in Portugal, assisting 25 dogs at any one time. The newly funded prosthetic allowed David to reconnect with the dogs.
“Sky joined us in December 2020. He had been on a chain for much of his short life and was attacked by another dog. He was left with a compound fracture for two days before medical treatment was sought. Despite two surgeries to repair the damage, infection had already set in, and amputation was the only option. I like to think that we have been great support for each other over the last year.”