Inspirational Aberdeen amputee hockey player honoured by the Queen speaks about her journey

Lorna Clyne BEM, 65, says she has not let her leg amputation hold her back after being awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Scottish hockey in 2019.

Lorna Clyne BEM

An amputee hockey player from Aberdeen, who has been awarded by the Queen, has spoken about her journey and finding new energy after losing her leg.

Lorna Clyne says she has not let her leg amputation hold her back. The 65-year-old began playing field hockey 45 years ago and went on to compete at a national level.

She also took up coaching and volunteering; however, after experiencing sore calves, Lorna was diagnosed with Giant Cell Arteritis - an inflammatory disease affecting the large blood vessels of the scalp, neck and arms. This led to three operations and leg amputation in 2017.

Lorna continued to volunteer after her leg operation, and in 2019, she was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Scottish hockey. She has become an icon in the north-east, having campaigned for international hockey tournaments like the Celtic Cup and Four Nations to be held in the Aberdeen.

Despite her achievements, Lorna spoke of how there was still a long way to go before she could feel normal again. She said that one of the things she missed most was being ‘able to go where her friends and family wanted to go.’

This involved going on short woodland walks around the north-east countryside, which led to her investing in a TGA mobility scooter, something Lorna says this has helped continue her positive adjustment to limb loss.

Lorna said: “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.”

She added: “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."

Lorna says she can now take part in popular walks in Aberdeenshire with friends and family and that she hopes anyone housebound who hears her story will be inspired by what they can achieve.

“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.”

She added: “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."

By Thomas Durham

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