Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Peter's Customer Really Counts; This Is an Essential Business Where the Personal Connection Is Intimate and Lifelong

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Peter's Customer Really Counts; This Is an Essential Business Where the Personal Connection Is Intimate and Lifelong

Article excerpt

IF EVER a business required exceptional customer relations, it would be Peter Farrand's Northern Prosthetics.

Mr Farrand is the only full-time prosthetist between the Queensland border and Newcastle and works with 300 amputees here on the Northern Rivers.

He sees up to 15 patients at Murwillumbah Hospital and 30 patients at Lismore hospital every fortnight.

Not only does he counsel some of these vulnerable people before their amputations, he then builds them a new limb and often goes on to have a lifelong relationship with them, adjusting their limb as their stump changes and shrinks or as they grow up and get bigger.

aI have learnt over the years that they just have to like you otherwise you can make a great leg and they will reject it,a he said.

aSometimes they come to me before the operation to remove a limb to get the heads-up on what they are in for.

aI often see people who have been in a traumatic accident who may have been suffering for five years trying to save a leg

aIt can be a really tough call to advise them to amputate, but you see them 12 months down the track and they are so happy because their quality of life has improved.a

Mr Farrand made the state-of-the-art prosthetics that helped Byron Bay Paralympian Marty Mayberry win a silver medal at the Vancouver Paralympics in 2010.

Mr Mayberry lost both legs below the knee after contracting meningococcal disease while on a school skiing trip as a teenager.

aOne of the highlights of my career was travelling to Whistler with Marty's family to watch him compete,a said Mr Farrand.

aIt's great to help someone like Marty but it's also pretty stressful getting everything just right for people.

aThere can be serious ramifications if the leg is not right because a person's physical ability has so much to do with how they feel as a human being. …

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