The delay to non-urgent surgeries caused by the coronavirus crisis hasn’t dented the hopes of one couple to find a solution.
The wife of an amputee used her imagination and skills to fashion a prosthetic leg for her husband from household items.
Atchari Watson and her husband Steve, from County Durham, said they faced a wait of months if they wanted to go ahead with an NHS prosthetic.
On her first attempt, the 46-year-old used a seaside bucket, fibreglass resin and a piece of wood – but Mr Watson said it kept sliding off.
But a second try with part of a moon boot and some wood from the shed solved the problem and allowed him to walk around their house.
Mr Watson, a teaching assistant who was in the Army, said: “My wife is very practical. She can turn her hand to anything.
“At first when I saw her rummaging around in the shed I thought she was going to do the garden.
“The next thing, she had one of our son’s seaside buckets and an old piece of wood.”
He added: “The next day when she came home from work, she got a moon boot from when I had a cast on my leg, cut it in half and used screws to attach it to a piece of wood and it’s absolutely brilliant.”
The father-of-three agreed to have the lower part of his leg amputated earlier this year after he suffered a severe broken leg when he fell 5ft in 2018 and had to undergo multiple operations.
He was due to get an assessment for the artificial limb last week, but health authorities cancelled his appointment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr Watson said: “I am not going to use this regularly but it will be good for getting around the house for the next three to six months.
“I desperately do not want to divert anybody in the NHS away from anything more important.
“There are people far worse of than me at the minute.”