Moving Forward After A Double Amputation
With the help of a Heart Foundation walking group, Glenn McLennan is finding his stride.
Glenn McLennan lost both his legs to diabetes but he’s not the kind of bloke to take set-backs sitting down.
He was fitted with prosthetics last year, and has literally got himself back on his feet.
McLennan’s now a permanent fixture with the Woodridge Wanderers -- a Heart Foundation walking group which cuts laps every morning at the Logan Central Plaza.
They’re a lovely bunch of people who have got behind the 65-year-old in a big way.
“I need that around me. I don’t need to have negative people, I need positive people. And they believed in me,” McLennan told Ten Eyewitness News.
Alison Gentles runs the Wanderers and welcomed a then wheelchair-bound McLennan with open arms.
“He came down and said ‘can I join the walking group?’ and I thought, well why not?” Gentles said.
"My only issue was he was in a wheelchair. So I rang the Heart Foundation and we discussed it, and with their blessing I signed him up.”
McLennan was first diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 and after a number of complications with the disease, was told he’d need a leg amputation.
When doctors gave him the option of having both legs removed to reduce the chance of further problems in the future, McLennan opted for the double amputation despite thinking he would never walk again.
“Once they got me into rehab, I got my confidence back,” he said.
The Logan local says he went through some dark times after the operation, but was determined not to let depression take hold of his life.
He also wants to show fellow amputees that there’s still a lot of life to be lived after the operation.
“My mother suffered from it pretty badly, it’s in the family," McLennan said.
"There’s life after getting your legs, or arms, taken away. I want to get across to people that you can get off your bum and get out and do things.”
Not only does he want to inspire other amputees to keep active, McLennan says he wants everyone to pay more attention to their health to avoid getting diabetes.
He admits he struggled to maintain a healthy diet while shift-working as a security guard, and that he wasn’t shy of a few rum and cokes at his local.
But he says he’s eating much better now, and even hopes to join a gym and get out on the gold course soon.
For the time being though he’ll keep getting around with the WoodridgeWanderers, taking his recovery one step at a time.