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Eliza Ault-Connell's Story

At the age of 16, Eliza Ault-Connell contracted Meningococcal Disease. Two days after contracting the disease and whilst being in a coma, her parents made the life-saving decision to amputate both her legs below the knees. Later on, Eliza made the decision to have her fingers amputated to reduce the risk of re-infection.

Eliza was fitted with prosthetic legs and has since went on to represent Australia in the Commonwealth Games, Olympics and Paralympics as a track and wheelchair athlete.

Eliza shares her experience with the Pro-Flex feet.

"In the past I have only ever used a basic foot, which was enough to get by, but not thrive with.

I love the fact that the Pro-Flex allows my gait to be as natural as possible and gives me practical movement that allows me to perform movements that amputees usually struggle with, balance particularly!"

Since being fitted with the Pro-Flex, Eliza has been able to achieve so much more out of her day.

"Everyone comments on how natural my gait is and how much more I am able to do, which is a lot even by an amble bodied person’s standards!

I am able to put my legs on at 4.30am and train my session then take clients through their sessions, look after 3 kids and still be able to walk right up until bedtime - something that, prior to Pro-Flex, I would be fatigued by the afternoon. Now nothing stops me!"

Eliza comments that not only are the Pro-Flex feet functional, but the best part of them is the fact that they look great also.

"I have always covered up technology with beige covers; this time I opened for something more robotic and mechanical and I love the fact you can see each part moving and performing its function.

After being an amputee for 20 years, the Pro-Flex has been the greatest gift. To once again feel the confidence and freedom to literally stride out in life and be the best I can be.

Cathy Howells on Eliza's Pro-Flex Experience

Cathy Howells

I have known Eliza for her entire life as an amputee, so it is exciting to see that she has now been able to access technology that can not only keep up with her but enhance her performance on her prostheses.

As a former track sprinter, Paralympian and more importantly mother of three, Eliza is well and truly in the upper echelon of prosthetic users, and this was before the added range of movement and energy return provided by Pro-Flex.

Now with the incorporation of the Pro-Flex feet into her prostheses Eliza can push the boundaries of her functional mobility further, with a less mechanical gait and reduction in forces transmitted to the rest of her body.

When I’m working with clients who are using the Pro-Flex, it can be seen that the increased range of ankle movement and energy return provided result in a much smoother gait pattern with improved transference of body weight from limb to limb.

It is also impressive in the advantages the foot provides to amputees in negotiating slopes and improved safety in descending stairs because an increased portion of the foot can remain on the step whilst descending with the sound limb. These features obviously have a greater impact for the bilateral amputee.

David Howells on Eliza's Pro-Flex Experience

David Howells

I have some video of Eliza on that first day, and when I watch her now some 12 months later it is amazing to see the transformation in her gait particularly her balance. It is much more symmetric and less mechanical. 

With her high degree of functionality, she is no longer restricted by the limitations of her previous feet.

From a prosthetist’s eye, it seems the ankle motion of the Pro-Flex allows the client to concentrate on what the upper body is doing through the stance phase of gait (core) and provides a full carbon foot to prevent any early drop off which makes for a more symmetric and energy efficient gait.