Mark Williams believes he wouldn’t be here today if not for the UK’s National Health Service.
“They saved my life when I was a boy,” says Williams, a former Paralympic swimmer who lost his left leg at age 10 in a car-bicycle collision. “From the paramedics who came to my accident and whisked me to hospital to the nursing care and fantastic surgeon, they all played a role in coming to my rescue.”
That was nearly four decades ago, in 1982. Just six years after the accident, Williams won silver and bronze medals at the Seoul Paralympics. He moved on to a successful corporate career, traveling the world as an executive for US-based global development firm.
In 2018 he launched his own company, Limb-art, which makes colorful prosthetic covers for lower-limb amputees. The business took off, garnering a slew of awards and vastly expanding its product line.
None of it would have been possible without the NHS, Williams says. And that’s what inspired Limb-art’s latest design.
The new cover promotes the UK’s “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” campaign to encourage social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know firsthand the absolutely fantastic work all the NHS workers do,” Williams says. “I wanted to do something special to thank the NHS for all the amazing work they are doing during these difficult coronavirus times.”
It’s an extension of Limb-art’s broader mission, which is to help amputees regard their limb difference as a distinctive part of their identity, rather than something to feel self-conscious about. As one enthusiastic customer puts it: “You can’t beat a bit of leg bling!”
“Our mission is to help users stand out and stand proud,” says Williams. “Our leg covers can be instrumental in raising confidence and self-esteem. Prostheses have come on in leaps and bounds functionally, but how they look hasn’t. LIMB-art aims to change this. Our covers are lightweight and easy to fit. They give the wearer a full leg shape and restore balance to their silhouette. They are also a great talking point. Our customization allows wearers’ personalities to shine through in their choice of shapes and colors, be that a Ferrari red finish or a Harley Davidson graphic.”
Limb-art belongs to a growing field of companies that are helping amputees make fashion statements through their prostheses. And it belongs to the growing ranks of manufacturers in the prosthetics industry that are doing their part to support front-line healthcare workers. You can check out Limb-art’s full product line here.