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My bionic leg changed my life

My bionic leg changed my life

Mitch Grant had resigned himself to a painful and inconvenient life after losing his leg in a motorcycle accident — but everything changed when he got a new bionic limb courtesy of surgeon Dr Munjed Al Muderis.

Five years ago 21-year-old Mitch Grant was in constant pain. He had lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident which caused a lot of damage to his entire body.

After 28 operations over 18 months, and being fitted with a suction prosthetic leg for almost that same period, he was still suffering.

“There’s so many thinks you struggle with that you don’t think of,” he says.

“I couldn’t sit at bar stools because they slide out from under you. You’d break toilet seats.

“I suffered a lot from the heat. My stump would shrink or swell up and the suction prosthetic would fall off.”

Even though he had problems, the last thing Mitch wanted was another operation — he’d just started his own business and recovered from his last surgery.

So it was with great reluctance that he went to meet with Dr Munjed Al Muderis — the man who would change his life.

His mum, who worked at the same hospital as Dr Al Muderis, would rave about the man with the reputation of a miracle worker, so eventually Mitch gave in to seeing him “just to keep Mum quiet”.

Dr Al Muderis, who started his life in war-torn Iraq and became a world-renowned Sydney surgeon, via a WA detention centre, is one of only a handful of orthopaedic surgeons in the world performing osseointegration.

The radical procedure sees a metallic rod implanted directly into an amputee’s thigh bone, creating a protruding artificial bone that connects directly onto a robotic limb.

“As soon as I saw the way [one of Dr Al Muderis’ patients] moving around I knew this was something I definitely wanted to have,” Mitch says of the bionic leg he’s was soon fitted with.

“I was surprised how easy it was to walk. I felt like I had a leg back again. All my problems pretty much went away immediately.”

It wasn’t just the radical robotic limb that Munjed (the surgeon is on first name basis with most of his patients) gave to Mitch. Having had so many operations, Mitch can say with authority the asylum-seeker turned life saver is “not a normal surgeon”.

Read Dr Munjed Al Muderis’s amazing story in the November issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly.

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