As a teenager Jess Quinn did all she could to disguise her prosthetic leg and pass for “normal.” Today she embraces her uniqueness and inspires other amputees through her positivity. Watch her story.
1 April 2018 – Two years ago Jessica Quinn realised overcoming her body image struggles as an amputee put her in a unique position to help others see their potential.
The 25-year-old athlete, model, social media influencer and one of the celebrities involved with TV3 Dancing With The Stars starting on April 29, features in a Life Unlimited (now known as Your Way | Kia Roha) Question Time video.
Jess grew up in Auckland, and enjoys cooking, being active, and travelling. She is currently using her expertise from her fashion and product design degree to launch her own clothing label called “BE. Your Label”.
In the video, filmed by AttitudeLive, Jess offers some advice to other amputees.
“Try to remain positive and be patient with yourself,” she says.
Dancing with the Stars, hosted by Dai Henwood and Sharyn Casey, involves a range of Kiwi celebrities each competing for a charity of their choice, with the winner decided by public vote.
Jess’ charity is the Child Cancer Foundation, a charity that helped her get through chemotherapy as a child.
She will use an agile blade as her leg because it is springy and agile.
“Taking part in Dancing With The Stars is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Jess.
“At first I thought no, there’s no way I can physically do this, but whenever I tell myself I can’t do something then I have to find a way!”
Important to get good support
For most people, the loss of a limb will have a big impact on life. And it can be especially hard to adjust if the loss is sudden or unexpected. That’s why is so important to get good support.
The New Zealand Artificial Limb Service currently provides services to over 4000 New Zealanders.
Men are over-represented in this group and account for 75% of amputees.
There are two main causes of amputation: diseases such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease; and accidents. The most common types of accidents are traffic, industrial and farming accidents.
Amputation is only considered when there is no way to save a limb, or where removing a limb is necessary to save life.
As part of the New Zealand health system, every amputee is entitled to an assessment for the provision of a prosthesis or artificial limb.
Peke Waihanga Artificial Limb Service
Previously known as New Zealand Artificial Limb Service, Peke Waihanga is a specialist healthcare provider that manufactures high-technology medical devices, mainly artificial limbs, for individual patients with an integrated rehabilitation and coordination of care service.
There are six offices throughout New Zealand: Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Amputee Society field officers are volunteers available to assist new patients and their whanau in their dealings with Peke Waihanga.
Visit the resources section on the Peke Waihanga website to find patient journey videos, fact sheets and a comprehensive FAQ section. You can also read Kia Kaha – Be Strong – a useful guide for new amputees.
Amputee Federation of New Zealand
This is a non-profit organisation that supports and promotes the welfare of all amputees. They provide peer support, information and advice through nine regional societies.
You can order publications on their website or read information articles on topics such as artificial limbs and other equipment, mobility support, sport and recreation and self-care.
The Federation has information about finding support and hosts an annual conference.
Visit Mobility Centre Store website to find information about equipment to support independent living for upper limb amputees.