Ausnew Home Care | From wheelchair to surfboard, a double amputee's incredible optimism and recovery

From wheelchair to surfboard, a double amputee's incredible optimism and recovery

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Stephen "Lobby" Lobb has been dealt more than his fair share of challenges in life, but he has never let the hurdles slow him down.

Almost two years after losing both legs in a horrific car crash, Mr Lobb is back doing what he loves — mountain biking, surfing, and even a tilt at becoming a Paralympian.

His wife Emma says while it has been tough, her husband, who was born deaf and is now a double amputee, has always been driven to "get back to as much normality as possible".

Mr Lobb was in a coma for 12 hours after crashing his car on the Gold Coast driving home from a bike ride in February 2020.

"He had officers at the scene who were able to tourniquet his legs because he had major damage," Mrs Lobb said.

"He lost both of the legs from underneath the knee. 

underwater shot of double amputee sitting on surf board
"Lobby" is back on the surfboard after losing both legs below the knee.(Supplied: Emma Lobb)

From day one in his hospital bed, Mr Lobb started planning his return to the bike and the board.

"We put vision boards and photos up and he looked at them every day," Mrs Lobb said.

"We were just not going to let it take us down, take him down.

man and woman smiling
Emma Lobb says there has been a lot of laughter throughout her husband's recovery. (ABC Gold Coast: Heidi Sheehan)

During his five weeks at Gold Coast University Hospital, Mr Lobb became known by staff for his unwavering optimism and "wicked sense of humour".

"He had the most beautiful staff help him in so many ways; we couldn't have done it without them," said Mrs Lobb.

A life-changing patient

Mr and Mrs Lobb developed strong bonds with the trauma nurses who looked after him, reuniting with them in November.

"Whenever I'm having a hard shift, I think back to Stephen. It just stays with you."

man standing with three women
Alex Evans, Stephen and Emma Lobb, and Charlotte Winkleman at Gold Coast University Hospital. (ABC Gold Coast: Heidi Sheehan)

Ms Winkleman received Mr Lobb when he came out of ICU.

"Losing one limb is super traumatic. Losing both limbs is just completely life-changing," Ms Winkleman said. 

man on beach
Mr Lobb is now back on the surfboard after losing both legs in a car crash in 2020.  (Supplied: Emma and Stephen Lobb)

Orthopaedic and trauma ward nurse Alex Evans said Mr Lobb had been "pivotal in her nursing career" as her first patient from ICU.

Nervous to be treating such a complex trauma patient, Ms Evans said Mr Lobb calmed her nerves.

"His personality was the same from day one," she said.

"He never doubted himself, ever. He took it all as if it could be worse."

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