Melissa Noonan: Limbs 4 Life: Westfield Local Heroes 2018
How Melissa’s trauma inspired her to help others
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled melissa to delivered a peer support training session to 29 amputees in Ballarat, a training session in Melbourne to 12 potential volunteers and a training session in Perth to 9 potential volunteers. Funding has covered the cost of police checks, venue hire, training materials and handouts. In addition, the grant has been used to print and distribute new resources to people facing limb loss such as: The Amputee Diary.
Melissa Noonan came up with the idea for Limbs 4 Life soon after losing her right leg above the knee in an accident.
She was undergoing rehabilitation and was feeling isolated and worried.
“I couldn’t believe how many amputees there were in rebab and I couldn’t understand how in a country such as ours information and support didn’t exist,” she says.
It was only a chance meeting with another amputee that provided her with some guidance and comfort. “It was just amazing to share my fears and concerns with him and ask all the questions I had.”
One year later, Melissa founded Limbs 4 Life.
Volunteers who have lost limbs provide one-on-one support to children and adults who have lost limbs through an accident or illness or who were born with limb differences.
There are also social activities and web-based information.
Melissa’s unflagging efforts include visits to schools and community groups to share her story and raise awareness.
She is determined to help prevent future amputations by encouraging prevention, such as foot-health checks for older people and those at risk because of diabetes.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.