Ben Lovell

My name is Ben Lovell and I am a below the knee amputee. I am the Head Volunteer for ATSGUK for the North of England. This is my story and I joined ATSGUK as a volunteer to help inspire and motivate other amputees to live life to the full.

The dilema I was faced with was if you were given a choice to amputate your leg to free yourself from severe pain, but also debilitate your life permanently, what would you do?

This was the nightmare decision I was faced with in September 2017 after months of missed diagnosis by my General Practitioner, a failed artery bypass and removal of a blood clot. This was precisely the unbelievable predicament that I was faced with. Although, I didn’t want to loose my right leg below the knee, I also didn’t want to be in constant pain for the rest of my life. As a father of two and with my upcoming wedding, I made one of the hardest choices of my life! Despite the physical effects of limb loss being bad enough, the mental struggles for me by far outweighed anything else. I was diagnosed with depression, severe anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the severe pain in my right lower leg.

However, after making the decision of my life and having the below the knee right leg amputation operation, I exceeded all medical expectations in terms of my recovery. I was walking again on my prosthetic leg within weeks of the operation. I was on my way to some kind of normality. I found the prosthetic hard to fit and I battled to keep myself active.

In September 2018, having made meaningful progress followiing my amputation came the second blow. I was advised that I unfortunately had two more blood clots which compromised my right stump massively. I therefore, underwent a second by pass proedure on my right stump due to a new clot blocking the main artery which also worringly affected my good left leg. Thankfully, for me this cleared in my good left leg, but as a result my right stump is completely blocked and restricts how long I wear my prosthetic.

I was told that my right stump would last some 6 months due to the poor blood flow as a consequence of the blood clots. However, I was determined to over come any adversity, so I started exercising to help push blood into my right stump and I have kept it alive for over 18 months now. Although now I’m looking at more surgery and a further amputation to my right leg in the coming months, getting through what I already have has given me the inner strength to get through anything else that I will face in the future.

Life throws all kinds of situations our way and we sometimes think why me? Why this? Why now? The answer we will never know, but with strength, bravery and positive thinking we can get through anything!

Fast forward to 2020 and I started AmpCamp Tenerife, a project to help amputee children and their parents look forward postively to life after an amputation. My first AmpCamp event was was meant to be in January 2021, but unfortunately this was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. The health, fitness and well-being retreat provided by the AmpCamp event is about helping lives of many amputees and off the back of that I started AmpCamp fitness uk. This is a free workout for amputees to get them back doing exercise.

We all face struggles in life, but it’s how we respond to these that makes us who we are. I have joined hands with ATSGUK as a volunteer to help mentor amputees in the North of England to come to terms with their amputation and to inspire them to look at life as offering many opportunities rather an amputation being the closing of doors.

I am a keen hill walker, recently I raised money for the AmpCamp project by walking 10 laps of Ogden Water Country Park on my prosthetic leg and completed The Yorshire 3 Peaks Challenge walking some 40 km at heights of 5,200 feet and I also did a sky dive.

I offer via ATSGUK, as part of the mentoring services, Hospital and Home Visits to help recent amputees and their families to get an insight into life after an amputation and to be a sounding board for amputees, as well as showing them that life is worth living and enjoying not withstanding their amputation.

Please feel free to contact me directly for any advice and assistance by sending an email to and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Liam Burbridge

My name is Liam Burbridge and I am a 28 year old left leg below knee amputee.

In February 2013, I was involved in a road traffic accident on my motorbike. At first it seemed pretty straight forward. I broke my left wrist, my left femur and my left ankle, but as the first few days went by in hospital I was getting sicker and sicker.

After the first week, I was taken to ICU, they found out that during the accident I tore my spleen and it was leaking blood into my stomach. This is also where the complications with my left leg became apparent.

I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my left leg and all the muscle around my ankle and calf were dying. The surgeons performed 8 operations to try to save my left leg before eventually deciding to amputate it. I had 13 operations in total over a 2 month period of my hospitalisation and although I thought my life was over, little did I know this is where my story would begin.

From very early on I received a lot of help from not only family and friends, but from other amputees, which I will be forever grateful for. As a volunteer with ATSGUK I am hoping that I can too help others like those who helped me.

Since losing my left leg I have gone onto achieve much more than I ever thought I could. I have been skydiving, I have run 10k races, helped with charity events and climbed mountains. I am a regular at the gym and many more things that I am proud of having achieved since my amputation.

In 2014 I won a Pride of St Helen’s award for my courage and work in helping other amputees and this led to me winning an ambassador award in 2015 for being a mentor, providing inspiration and support to recent amputees and amputees who where struggling with losing a limb.

I have suffered with depression so I know what it can be like and I am on life long medication, but that doesn’t stop me chasing my dreams. I work full time, I have fathered 3 children and we all live a normal life as possible.

As a volunteer with ATSGUK, I would like to offer my services in the form of mentoring other amputees via hospital visits and any other form of support that may help.

Although I’m only a small part through this lifelong journey of being an amputee, I would like to help others to unlock their potential and to help them move forward in their lives.

Please feel free to contact me directly for any advice and assistance by sending an email to and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Gemma Harrison

In October 2019, after getting a pain in my left thigh and seeing the GP and numerous hospitals, I was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer which is known as osteosarcoma. In order to shrink the tumour to have surgery, I had to start 9 intense rounds of chemotherapy.  The surgery was to replace my femur bone with a metal rod. Unfortunately, during the second round of chemotherapy, my bone became too weak resulting in my leg to break and me losing my left leg (hip disarticulation). I was then transferred to Birmingham hospital in order to have my amputation for my left leg. Despite everything, I was relieved that I was alive.

The Doctor managed to remove 90% of my tumour. However I still had to finish my chemotherapy treatment. Due to all this being around covid, I could not see my friends or family. Due to my journey, I set up a social media profile to try to find other amputees so that we could support each other. I came across AMP Camp was offered a chance to attend one of their camps in March 2022.

This was a really supportive experience as I was surrounded by other amputees who had been in my situation. This was a substantial boost for my confidence. I have now received a new prosthetic leg which I am getting used to. I have also climbed the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike.

By being part of the ATSGUK charity, I feel that I can provide the help and support required to other amputees and show them that they are not alone and life can go on.

Please feel free to contact me directly for any advice and assistance by sending an email to and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Dan Hartshorn

I lost my left arm in a conveyor drive in an accident at work in February 2021 due to faulty machinery. When I woke up in hospital the surgeons explained that they had tried to save my left arm, but unfortunately the left arm had died. I stayed in hospital for 2 weeks because of the extent of the injury and the skin graft surgeries I had whilst admitted at hospital. Since the accident, I had struggled to come to terms with day to day living and was finding it difficult to cope with my path in life following the amputation. Being a husband and a father of two, I wanted nothing more than to become the family man I always was, to be the provider for them and to give them all the best in life I could. However, after the life changing amputation injury I saw no way out and sunk deep into depression and anxiety.

I started to reach out to amputee groups on social media. Here I came across ATSGUK.

I was lucky enough to be funded by ATSGUK for a place on the Amp Camp retreat. Here I met other amputees and was given the opportunity to discuss my journey. The Amp Camp retreat allowed me to be more positive about life. It also allowed me to see that life after an amputation can be great.

I feel that by being part of the ATSGUK charity, I can help other amputees who are struggling with life as I was and show them a positive outlook on life. ATSGUK has helped me tremendously with my struggles and I would like to help other amputees with their struggles via the charity.

Please feel free to contact me directly for any advice and assistance by sending an email to and I will be more than happy to assist you.