- Video report by ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot
After amputee Steve Watson, was told he would have to wait months for a prosthetic leg on the NHS due to the coronavirus crisis, his wife came up with a creative solution using items she found in their shed.
His wife, Atchari Watson, first attempted to help her husband using their son's seaside bucket and fibre glass resin but it made him look like pirate "Long John Silver" and kept sliding off.
The 46-year-old was eventually able to fashion a makeshift leg from half of a moon boot and some wood, allowing Mr Watson to get around their house in Shotley Bridge, County Durham.
Mr Watson, a teaching assistant who was in the Army, said: “My wife is very practical.
"She can turn her hand to anything.
“At first when I saw her rummaging around in the shed I thought she was going to do the garden.
“The next thing, she had one of our son’s seaside buckets and an old piece of wood.
"It was more akin to something Long John Silver would wear.”
He added: “The next day when she came home from work, she got a moon boot from when I had a cast on my leg, cut it in half and used screws to attach it to a piece of wood and it’s absolutely brilliant.”
Her inventive solution has allowed him to get back in the garden and walk around their house.
The father-of-three, who used to run a Thai restaurant and takeaway with his wife, suffered a badly broken leg when he fell 5ft in 2018.
Following a series of operations, he agreed to have the lower part of it amputated in January and was due to have a prosthetic fitted.
But the hospital appointment was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Mr Watson said: “I am not going to use this regularly but it will be good for getting around the house for the next three to six months.
“I desperately do not want to divert anybody in the NHS away from anything more important.
“There are people far worse off than me at the minute.”
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