Through the Challenges Together

The year 2020 was a game-changer.

In a world still adapting to ‘new normal’ conditions brought about by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, our team at IceXpress had to move fast to find new ways to still safely deliver essential services to our clients during the national lockdown.

From traveling across provinces for home-visits with elderly clients who are particularly vulnerable at this time, to receiving clients in the safety of The Innovation Hub precinct. Taking care to have all necessary protocols in place, IceXpress Progressive Prosthetics could continue to address the unique prosthetic and rehabilitative needs of our clients in this challenging time.

“The lockdown experience heralds change. I think we will continue to see interesting new ways of doing things. Taking the service to the client during those early lockdown months certainly highlighted a few things to consider going forward,” says Johan Snyders, Chief Executive of IceXpress Progressive Prosthetics.

For prosthetic users, remaining physically active is an important consideration. A healthy lifestyle helps amputees get the most out of their equipment. The year 2020 was not the best year for that.

During lockdown, clients had to find innovative ways to stay active. It is  important for prosthetic users to use their equipment regularly to avoid unnecessary changes in the residual limb that may affect prosthetic fit.

A handful of clients, who are also Para athletes, lead the way to help motivate.

“We are grateful to Para athletes like Ntando Mahlangu for keeping us motivated during lockdown. Sharing their ideas on how to stay active with fellow prosthetic users via social media helped to spread a positive message in difficult times,” Snyders adds.

Towards the end of 2020, lockdown restrictions eased.

In October, for the first time since the start of the 2020 season, athletes aiming to qualify to represent South Africa at this year’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games could to return to their preparations under ‘new normal’ conditions.

Free State Sport Association for the Physically Disabled (FSSAPD) hosted a Para athletics event that saw many of track and field’s emerging talent in attendance.

The event also included two showcase races, A 100 and 200 meter sprint item for five young bilateral lower limb amputees who run in the same competitive class as their role-model; T61 Paralympic sprinter, Mahlangu.

Snyders explains, “The showcase races are meant to give new kids; beneficiaries of our social outreach initiative Jumping Kids; a fun taste of track and field athletics. It is an opportunity for them to test their equipment, and meet role-models that are good examples of what is possible through sport”.

Ending a challenging year with a new sense of what is possible; Ruan Kaps visited IceXpress just before Christmas to be fitted with his new bionic hand. The Pretoria-based teen spent his December vacation honing new skills at his fingertips to get ready for the school-year ahead.

“Someone recently pointed out that people living with physical disability already had to learn to adapt and are, in a sense, better equipped to stay motivated in these challenging times. Ruan’s enthusiasm to explore the possibilities of his bionic technology is great inspiration going into the new year,” Snyders concludes.