'The world looks very different with the JUMP'
When Lizzie van der Bas (age 7) first walked into the office of prosthetist Frank Jol, she felt she could do anything with her prosthesis. After some questioning, "anything" turned out to be a stretch. The Re-Abled project and the JUMP prosthesis have made a huge change. "Now I can really do anything I want to do."
Lizzie was born with an - in her own words - "inimini foot, with five little peas as toes. When she was less than a year old, that foot was amputated and she received her first prosthesis. Now, in seven years, the tally stands at thirteen legs. Lizzie has to laugh as she tells it. With a marble pink prosthesis, she walks into prosthetist Frank Jol's office. "My leg is a little heavy, though. Jumping is difficult. And when climbing stairs, I have to keep lifting my leg to the next step with my hand." She almost apologizes when I say that surely she should be able to do that better: "I can't help it."
The prosthesis with upper leg cap is simply too heavy in Frank's eyes. That upper leg cap must come off. "When he said that, I found that very scary," says mother Sandra van der Wolf. "She had walked once with a prosthesis without an upper leg cap and then she collapsed like a plum pudding. We didn't want that to happen again. But with the new prosthesis - without an upper leg cap - that's not the case." Lizzie still has to laugh about what happened when she first put on the JUMP prosthesis: "I went running right away. And that was pretty crazy. I went so fast right away. I even did another race with Paralympic champion Fleur Jong."
For Lizzie, pleasure prevailed, mother Sandra adds: "She also immediately had no more pain. With the old prosthesis she had that regularly. She now trains once a week with Frank, and goes freerunning once a week. freerunning. Just for fun, but also to make the leg stronger. She gets her strength from that now. In that respect, I'm so glad we ended up with Frank." It happened by chance: Lizzie's gym teacher saw Edwin Spee (Mentelity Foundation) on television talking about the Re-Abled project and sent Sandra a message. She looked at the website and sent another message to the Mentelity Foundation with Lizzies story.
"That same afternoon the phone rang: if I wanted to send some videos of Lizzie to see if the JUMP prosthesis would be right for her. And a few days later we were at the Friendship Sports Centre with Frank Jol. Suddenly I thought: it's really going to happen! I always hoped that Lizzie would be able to do everything, but in the past years I have seen that there were just things that her leg did not allow. And you don't want that as a parent. I don't just settle for the first best solution, but there is always the brake of insurance, which doesn't just cover everything. At the Mentelity Foundation, they then help look for solutions on how it can be done financially."
"When she put on the JUMP, she immediately ran on it."
"Lizzie always really wanted to, but walking the dog was actually too much. And playing outside during school breaks was also too hard," Sandra remembers well. "Now we walk in the woods for at least an hour every day and she plays outside all the breaks. In addition to her sports prosthesis, she now also has an ADL prosthesis from Frank. And that feels very nice. It's much broader here than: here you have a leg, good luck with it! We were always satisfied with the doctors and prosthetists, but here we see how things can be done. So my advice: if you are not one hundred percent satisfied, look further. Some prosthetists just know a little bit better."
Text: Robin Wubben
Photos: Mathilde Dusol