PULS (Portable Upper Leg Support)

Due to weakened leg muscles I noticed severe bruising of my foot due to constantly flopping outwards when sitting

which also caused excessive swelling and severe pain
someone who could benefit from the PULS

The PULS story

Following two strokes in March 2007, during August 2010I noticed severe swelling of my left ankle and severe bruising on the outer edge of my foot. God then made me realize that due to weakened muscle control my leg would often lean over to the left, putting undue strain on my ankle causing the bruising and swelling. My foot, and especially the ankle, would get increasingly painful when sitting and especially in a moving bus if not kept in an upright position. It was also embarrassing to have my leg tough that of the person who had the miss fortune of sitting beside me especially if it was a person of the opposite gender!

A method to keep my leg upright had to be found! Various methods were tried all of which had limitations. One method was to strap my legs together using a broad strap and a safety belt buckle but this was uncomfortable and had an added possibility of leading to DVT. The Lord my God then also put an idea into my mind and the Portable Upper Leg Support (PULS) idea was born. The first step was to get someone to make one so after a few enquiries, during October 2010, a prototype was kindly manufactured by a charity organization, Demand.

The PULS holds the weak leg in a vertical position by utilizing the stronger leg. Many stroke survivors have similar single sided weakened leg muscles and reduced leg control as have people with other neurological problems such as MS ,Spinal injury, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy,leg Lymphedia, and several other conditions. Further more the PULS could be used by healthy people and the elderly to give a more comfortable sitting posture.

Soon after receiving the device I went on a coach trip to Brussels with the Salmon disabled swimming club and so had immediate use for the PULS. Besides the main reason of the PULS of keeping my leg upright and avoiding the embarrassment of my leg rubbing against that of the person beside me At the end of the trip I could already noticed a strengthening of my leg and felt that the retraining of my brain that my leg should be held vertical had also probably begun.

In terms of my own recovery I have come a long way. From having to be assisted to stand using a standing hoist spending at least 6 months in a wheelchair to now being able to stand tall and upright! Thanks also to constantly being aware of a good posture and the use of the PULS.

May 2007

October 2007

October 2013

The swelling and bruising of my left foot has also mostly disappeared, The PULS has so prevented more musculoskeletal injury with only 2 minor precautions I had to be aware of making sure I did not use it too long to produce pressure sores on my legs but this has fortunately not been a problem for me!

 

For a detailed diary of my over 5 year journey to try and make this product readily available to other stroke victors and people with weakened leg muscles due to a neurological injury please see my PULS

The pace that walked with along this journey was determined by divine prompting and the whole process was in God's time so I needed to remain patient and rely on His perfect timing while discerning the actions for me to take. I thank God for equipping me for the task of coordinating His PULS.

I have realized that the NHS is very much evidence based and need positive proof that any product actually works and as I have only received favorable comments from medical professionals I will need to find a sponsor to continue

The whole process was in the hands of our Lord and as His timing is impeccable and if it is His Will, He would of opened doors of opportunity. I sincerely hope that I have been faithful in doing my part in trying to bring this project forward.

Meanwhile I have had daily use of the PULS and it has benefited my healing greatly. I have now gained enough muscle strength and control in my weakened leg that if I concentrate, then I am able to keep my leg in its correct position for much of the day and generally no longer use the PULS all day and I no longer carry it with me. As far as I am concerned its purpose for me has been fulfilled and I thank God for putting the idea in my head and all those that have helped me along the journey. I would however still like to see other stroke survivors also benefit.