Launch Of Information Website Becoming An Amputee – A Patient Journey
January 27, 2020
LAUNCH OF INFORMATION WEBSITE
BECOMING AN AMPUTEE – A PATIENT JOURNEY
Andrea J. Williams, Williams Consulting has worked with and for Indigenous communities for over 30 years. In this time, she has completed more than 200 contracts and built enduring First Nation community relationships both regionally and nationally. Although some of her clients have been unaware, she has built her career while living with a physical disability and chronic severe pain as a result of an accident. In December, she faced the ultimate crushing and final decision to cope with her failing health.
On December 11, 2019, Andrea J Williams became an amputee. She had a lower-extremity amputation of her left leg.
We welcome you to view an announcement video recorded by Ms. Williams at the following link:
Andrea has working extensively in health including diabetes. Her work has included building interdisciplinary teams from federal, provincial, First Nation Health Centres and private sector providers to come together so that there is early intervention and support for Indigenous people living with Diabetes. The goal is to support the management of their diabetes and minimize secondary complications. Amputations are one of the most feared secondary complications of diabetes. A recent study showed that First Nation people in Ontario “had lower-extremity amputation procedures at 3–5 times the frequency for other Ontario residents” (2019 Shah et all). This study confirmed that early screening and disparities in access to health care including specialists, as well as other risk factors contribute to this stark finding.
As a result of this life changing surgery, Andrea has decided to document her experience and make it available as an informational tool. She has created a separate website and YouTube videos which capture each step of the journey. The goal is to demystify the process. As of today, it is only six weeks post-operation and content will continue to be added, primarily through videos, but also some blogs. Although her amputation was the result of an accident, not diabetes, many of the experiences that follow are similar.
We encourage you to consult our additional resources below, including a link to our YouTube vlog series. We believe that by demystifying the process, those individuals undergoing this surgery, and their loved ones, will have a clearer idea of what to expect. Andrea’s documentation of the steps before, during and after the operation is an important resource that Indigenous Health Centres can share with their clients during workshops or individual counselling. Consent is provided for all organizations to link this website to their website or social media.
Many First Nation people with physical disabilities are accomplished and make meaningful contributions to the workforce. However, those with significant physical disabilities are often less visible in the workplace. Those with physical disabilities face challenges often because potential employers fail to recognize their potential or will not take the risk of them going on leave. It is challenging enough to lose part of a limb. It is demoralizing when you are left behind and no longer have a collegial environment. We can and must do better at being more inclusionary.
Williams Consulting is working through a period of reflection and transition as we move towards a more mutually reciprocal and compassionate business model. Williams Consulting was born out of the need to work while disabled. This is just one more surgery. Williams Consulting/PathDMS remains fully operational and committed to our clients and community. However, through this transition, we invite you to take part in our creation of compassionate solutions founded in reciprocal values of caring, sharing, kindness and strength. For years, we have advocated with our partners for trauma-informed, culturally-competent and empathetic treatment of our community members. As consultants, we too are community members and hope for this same type of kindness in return from our clients and partners moving forward.
We have returned to operations as normal and Andrea has worked every day to fund our extra expenses through contracts. At the same time, we recognize some individuals may wish to make a donation for extra expenses and have set up a GoFundMe page titled, “Support Andrea J Williams’ Amputation Recovery”.
Meegwetch / Yaw^ko /Anushiik/ Thank You
For Further Information Contact: Andrea J. Williams or Kienan Williams,
Phone: (905) 485 1800 or (855) 728 4367
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]