Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient

Departments

Klaas Meekel is a double leg amputee - and a passionate cyclist

Over two years ago, Klaas Meekel became a double leg amputee.

While in Rehab at Talbot, he had to re-learn how to do things such as getting in and out of a car, cooking and showering.

Klaas also had to learn how to walk on his prosthetic legs.

"They taught me how to use a walker, then two walking sticks, then one walking stick but I haven't quite lost the one walking stick yet though."

Klaas had been very active and fit and cycling was one of his passions. It's also something he thought he would not be able to do again. While in Rehabilitation, Klaas first saw a hand cycle in the spinal injuries gym.

"I thought to myself, that looks interesting."

"Under the guidance of various staff members, I started to use the hand cycle. I'd ride it around the gym and then around Talbot's grounds and parking areas on the weekends. I just fell in love with it. "

"I was very positive about it all, I went out into the big wonderful world and started using trams, trains and wanted to get back to normaility."

Klaas then borrowed the handcycle from the Leisure Therapy team.

"I'd take the train to whatever looked like an interesting area, like Geelong, Ballarat or Bendigo and cycle around 20kms, stopping midway for coffee of course."

"I've done all sorts of weird and wonderful adventure trips on the hand cycle."

Manager Community Integration and Leisure Services, Salvatore Dema says that it's been a privilege to help Klaas find a new passion.

"As Allied Health professionals, it's so rewarding to be a part of the journey and see patients living full and active lives."

Klaas says that Leisure and Allied Health staff at Talbot are "absolute stars."

"They played a crucial part in my rehabilitation and through their help and intervention, I discovered and fell in love with a new sport!"

Klaas wants other amputees to know that the sky is the limit.

"You can do whatever you like, your amputation mustn't stop you from doing the things you love."

"Set your mind to it, and you can do it. Life's good man!"