Meet our new Limb Buddies!
Everything we do at Koalaa is focused on our users. They are the reason we do what we do, and every day we are thankful for the opportunity we have to a make a difference in their lives.
Our goal is to provide enabling support alongside really useful, affordable and comfortable prosthetics, that help each individual child or adult to live their life to the full - whatever their passions and interests may be.
A huge part of this is the holistic support we provide every step of the way; from the moment someone first gets in touch with us, through to ordering and receiving their prosthetic, and then integrating it within their daily life in the weeks, months and years ahead.
As well as one-to-one support, every user becomes a valued member of the Koalaa Community, which is a safe place to connect with others, share experiences, and feel inspired and uplifted.
And sitting at the heart of all this, are the Koalaa Limb Buddies, who all have a personal experience of limb difference.
Our growing team
We recently grew our Limb Buddy team with the addition of two new faces, who we’d love to introduce to you here.
Amy has been involved with Koalaa for quite some time, being the parent of one of our youngest users, Hero. Feedback from Amy and Hero has helped us in shaping and improving our designs. So much so, that we even named one of the tool attachments after her!
Action woman Sarah from Scotland, who has a below elbow limb difference herself, has blown our minds with her ambition. As well as swimming in ice pools and mountain climbing, Sarah has plans to set a world record, as the first person to cycle around the globe with one hand! We’re thrilled to welcome her to the team.
“We found out at our 20-week pregnancy scan that our first child would be born without her right hand. It was a scary time, and the rest of our pregnancy was a whirlwind of scans, tests and worries. Fast forward four and a half years and we’re the proud parents of an awesome daughter (two daughters now, in fact!) and our eldest just so happens to have a limb difference.
“They both amaze us every day. Despite our early worries about how Hero would cope with her difference, watching her sprint, leap and roll through life has shown us time and again just how fine she is!
“We became involved with a charity called Reach early on and attended our member get-together before Hero was born. I also started blogging about parenting a child with a difference called ‘Though She Be But Little’ before hanging up my blogging shoes when Hero started school. It was at our first Reach AGM that I first met Nate and Sanish. The concept and design of the prosthetic sleeve they were demonstrating was something we’d never seen before. It was a low key, comfortable prosthetic that offered total flexibility for Hero.
“It’s not that Hero needed a prosthetic, or that we were actively looking for one, but we do want her to have equal opportunities. When she comes home and asks to try the violin, we want her to be able to just try it without having to go through a whole, lengthy limb centre process. So, we got her one and keep it for when she wants and needs it.
“And now I’m delighted to have joined the team as a Koalaa Limb Buddy! I could only ever work for a company that I totally believed in, and it’s wonderful to be part of the Koalaa team and a point of contact for other families who are joining the Koalaa community.
“I am most looking forward to being a part of those moments when a child and their family find their life changed: Not in a big dramatic way, but in small super important ways, like using a knife and fork independently for the first time or holding a skipping rope. These moments all add up to a big, impactive change.
“It’s also super exciting to be on the front line of the development in prosthetics; gathering feedback from the Koalaa Community and passing it on to the ever-adapting design team. In the four years since our daughter was born the world of prosthetics has already leapt forward, what will be possible in another four, ten or twenty years? I cannot wait to find out!”
“I had been planning a fairly large cycle trip and was doing some research into prosthetics, as I am a limb different person myself, when I first came across Koalaa.
“When I saw it, I said “WOW” out loud, as it was the first time I’d seen something different, comfortable, affordable and actually useful! So, I picked up the phone to get as much information as possible and to see how I could get hold of one.
“When I say a fairly large cycle trip, I mean, I am aiming to set a world record for the first person to cycle around the world with one hand! The trip is still a few years away with planning and logistics to be ironed out, so when I saw the opportunity of a Limb Buddy role at Koalaa it was a no-brainer to apply.
“My limb difference was from birth and I’m missing my left arm from just below the elbow. I’ve come up against a lot of barriers - prosthetic arms being one of the biggest - and that has made things a lot harder than they should be.
“Koalaa wants to make prosthetics that are affordable and available to everyone, making these hurdles a lot smaller for future generations - which is a huge and needed step for the community. To have the opportunity to be part of the creation and development process, and to be working with families to get the right prosthetics to children and adults, so they can achieve their goals, means the world to me.
“I have never been a huge part of the limb different community. As a stubborn teenager I just wanted to get on with things in my own way. Now I am at an age where I want to give back and to talk to younger generations, to pass on any advice and wisdom. I want to let them know that things are going to be alright. It’s not the end of the world and anything is possible if you believe it to be.”