Queen awarded amputee hockey player redefines independence with offroad scooter
Lifelong hockey player, coach and volunteer, Lorna Clyne BEM, 65 from Aberdeen, has not let leg amputation hold her back thanks to a new offroad TGA mobility scooter.
Lorna has always described herself as an ‘outdoorsy person.’ Alongside the love of countryside walking, Lorna began playing field hockey 45 years ago and went onto compete at national level along with coaching and volunteering. As her sporting achievements progressed, she began to experience sore calves which was finally diagnosed as Giant Cell Arteritis.
Despite three operations and leg amputation in 2017, Lorna continued to volunteer which led to her being awarded the British Empire Medal by The Queen in 2019 for services to Scottish hockey. Since then, she has continued to positively adjust to limb loss however one big activity of her life was missing – being ‘able to go where her friends and family wanted to go’. Lorna’s longing to get back to easy woodland walks was finally satisfied when she discovered the Vita S from TGA.
Lorna picks up the story, “I desperately needed a way back to countryside rambles. My supportive husband started looking online at bikes and trikes that might be ok for someone with a prosthetic leg. However my physio became concerned my prosthetic leg might not be safe for cycling, so we started looking for a suitable offroad machine. We found the Breeze scooter and spoke to TGA about options. Harry came out to assess me and brought a Breeze and Vita S with him so we could both go for a drive along my local disused railway track. We also went into the forest – the surroundings near here are so beautiful especially as we see lots of deer. The Vita just felt right for comfortable positioning of my leg and the bucket seat and suspension were so supportive. I only had to wait just over a week for delivery; very quick bearing in mind everything that’s going on in the world.”
Lorna is now back outdoors doing what she wants to do with friends and family. A popular walk for them is along the disused part of the Crathes Railway Line which links Aberdeen to The Queen’s residence, Balmoral. Lorna is able to join in whether everyone is walking, running or cycling which is amazing as she adds: “How do I sum up how I feel on my Vita? I feel extremely posh, safe and comfortable. Fear is a big thing with an amputation, you can lose confidence, this is why knowing you are safe is vital. I can go out on my own without having to disrupt my husband and ask for company all the time. My scooter is so good especially offroad.”
“I like to think I am still trendy at 65 so the way my Vita looks is important to me. It ‘does what it says on the tin.’ When you’re new to disability, such as having a recent amputation, it can still hurt to see yourself in the mirror for a long time. You’ll take anything to feel normal again. By driving my Vita people saying ‘wow’ when they see me which makes me feel better.”
With Lorna back enjoying scenic Aberdeenshire she hopes other people in a similar situation can share her experiences as she concludes: “I’m telling my story as I’d like to help everyone housebound by seeing what you can achieve on an all-terrain scooter. My husband said it was worth investing in a quality piece of kit as this is now my life, it’s not a temporary thing. It’s also made his life easier. ‘Can’t’ is now a word I use less and less in my life. I’d say to people if you are new to disability, don’t just jump in with the first product you see. You might be naïve and vulnerable, take your time to consider and do your research like we did by finding TGA.”