In this column I am spoilt for choice as I often see so much hope, courage, dedication and fighting spirits in my practice, it is difficult to choose to discuss. Two brave young women have made such an impression on me that in the spirit of Women’s Month, I decided to share their journeys with you. Louisa Brown is 36 years old who lost her leg (above the knee) in a motor vehicle accident in July 2002. Only 16 months later she gave birth to twins! This remarkable woman carried two babies before and after birth with an above the knee prosthesis on a very recently amputated stump. Her journey didn’t stop there; in 2004 she started her own photography studio.

Chantell Murray is only 25 years old. On her birthday in January 2011, she was involved in a serious motorbike accident. Her pelvis was torn apart and she sustained serious Tibia Fibula and Ulna Radius fractures. She also sustained an open femur fracture and her right hand was crushed. Her right leg was amputated above the knee in 2012. She was conscious after the accident until the doctors induced her into a three-month coma. She spent 14 months in hospital, while undergoing 47 operations.

She received her prosthesis in December last year and secured a secretarial post at a prosthetic firm in March 2013. Chantell also motivates first time amputees and she dares any male amputee to follow her act. These young women are truly remarkable and have overcome extreme adversities to inspire everyone.

FATO Congress 2013 – Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire: The FATO Congress of 2013 will be held in Yamoussoukro, capital city of Cote d'Ivoire, (Ivory Coast) from 30th September to 5th October, 2013. The theme of the congress is "Addressing barriers to development of rehabilitation: good practice for the national plans". The goal in Yamoussoukro will be to strengthen the exchange of best practices between the countries in Africa, and to compare the development of these practices with international standards and frameworks of intervention. The program is particularly focused on the results of the actions that can help with regards to the barriers to rehabilitation ser-vice, taking into account the recommendations of the World Health Organization World Report on Disability and the follow up of the national surveys for the development of national ac-tion plans up to 2013 in 29 African member countries of the Federation. The work done in plenary sessions and workshops will provide elements that will allow participating countries to prioritize activities to be implemented and/or review their national plans.

Three new O&P practices join SAOPA Three new Orthotic and Prosthetic practices have joined the South African Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (SAOPA): Estene Henning Orthopaedic Services, based in Dunnotar, near Nigel, Dinesh Govender & Calvin Moothusamy, based in Malvern, Queenborough, Durban and Sisonke Mgqibisi-Badashe O&P, based in Mdantsane, East London. Three practitioners with existing practices have also joined: Suzelle van der Westhuizen, who has joined Paul Hepburn’s practice in Somerset West, Juan Greeff, who has joined Zac Kleinhans in Uitenhage and Genevieve Joubert, who has joined Jayson Chin & Associates in Cape Town.