Tony, living a normal life!

My name’s Tony Mockett, and I’m a bilateral, below knee amputee. In fact, 2024 is my 30th anniversary of being an amputee. What a ride!

In December 1994 at age 24, I unfortunately contracted a rather nasty bug known as Meningococcal Septicaemia. Perfectly healthy one day, ICU the next! I spent nearly two weeks in ICU, followed by three months in a high dependency ward at Monash Medical Centre. I then spent another three months in rehab at Caulfield Hospital.

Rehab was gruelling but also very rewarding. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears I vividly remember the day I stood up and walked for the first time. The best advice I received when learning to walk again – swing those arms! So, with my pre-NDIS, government issued prosthetics, and no ‘home mods’ to speak of, I finally got out of hospital in June 1995. A new life began!

A while after rehab, I went for my driver’s license again. I was successful in this and was issued a restricted license, being that I could only drive an automatic car and I had to drive with my prosthetics on! Slowly returning to the workforce over the next 3 years, I eventually returned to full time work in January 2000, and I’ve been working full time ever since. 

I’ve had no problems flying and travelling as a bilateral below knee amputee and a prosthetic user. In 2005 I travelled with my partner to Hong Kong which was fun and very humid. I’ve also been to the US three times and done several domestic trips including Western Australia and Queensland. A big shout out to my partner, who has pushed me around in a wheelchair at times, when we’ve been out and about sightseeing.

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2015 saw my greatest life achievement - having a son, Ted, who is now 8 years old and getting bigger by the day. We went to the Gold Coast in 2022, did all the theme parks and had a fantastic time. We regularly play basketball, go swimming or to local parks for a bit of bike riding and we love going to the footy to see our beloved Richmond Tigers!

What else can I say about being an amputee? Get involved! Through Limbs 4 Life I became a Peer Support Volunteer in 2022. Unfortunately, when I was in hospital back in the mid-nineties, Peer Support was frowned upon, so this service was not available to me. One day when I was in rehab, an elderly gentleman saw me exercising and came over and spoke with me. He was also a bilateral below knee amputee, and he proceeded to tell me about his life and experiences – it was the greatest motivation I received whist in rehab.

I’ve attended many Limbs 4 Life events including the AMPed Up! Conference. I got so much out of the last one held in Melbourne, and I cannot wait for Adelaide next year. I’m a Group Leader, attending lunches where I get to meet other amputees. During these social get-togethers you get to give and receive some great advice, have a chat and a laugh about all things, not just amputee related topics! 

I won’t lie, being an amputee is tough, and you have to adjust your life accordingly, and get to know your limitations. You have your ups and downs, but who doesn’t? I have been laid up at times, confined to a wheelchair, but for the most part I’m mobile and I live a ‘normal’ life. After all, I’m just lucky to be here!!!

Tony is the Group Leader of the Victorian Metro East Amputee Support Group who meet for lunch throughout the year. You can find out about Limbs 4 Life’s support groups and social events here