Whether it’s climbing up the side of the O2 Arena in Greenwich or scaling the heights of a treetop assault course, nothing is too big a challenge for former rugby player Grace Matthews.
Which is remarkable, given her whole world was turned upside down after a devastating injury during a match less than two years ago.
She adapted to her new life quickly, getting used to walking again using a prosthetic leg. However, it wasn’t until she received her Ottobock C-Leg 4, a microprocessor knee (MPK) designed to help above-knee amputees walk with a much more stable and efficient gait, that a whole new outlook on life was sparked.
She said: “When I first tried the C-Leg 4 I was astounded, I couldn’t believe there was a product out there like it. Before, with my old prosthesis, I didn’t know any different and figured ‘this was it, this is as good as it gets’. But the C-Leg 4 has transformed my life.”
Dubbed Amazing Grace by her friends, thanks to her indomitable spirit and determination — and as a nod to the fact her injury happened in the town where the world-famous hymn was written — Grace is now busy testing the limits of what the C-Leg 4 can do.
“I’ve been doing all kinds of things that I would never have even considered before my amputation,” said Grace. “Something like this changes your outlook on life, and I just appreciate it a whole lot more.”
Most recently, Grace, who works as a customer experience co-ordinator for the National House-Building Council (NHBC), took on the challenge of a Go Ape treetop challenge, using her C-Leg 4 across zip-wires, netting and rope bridges.
She said: “It was absolutely brilliant, I crossed a rope bridge and my C-Leg took my entire weight on this thin piece of rope. It was incredible!”
Grace also enjoys hiking, climbing and abseiling, plays badminton and regularly hits the gym — and she’s also hoping for a return to rugby one day, once she feels she’s completely mastered her new prosthesis.
She said: “I know it’s got me at all times, like having a safety net. But it continues to surprise me with its performance. I can’t wait to get started planning more adventures!”
Grace got her C-Leg through the NHS England’s MPK policy, which has been in place since 2016 and is open to through-knee, above-knee and hip disarticulation amputees who meet the qualifying criteria.
To find out more about the Ottobock C-Leg 4 and the NHS MPK policy, visit www.ottobock.co.uk