Retired GP turns to dismantling legs

Tom Williams / Gold Badge

Photo of Michael Nelki

When people retire they often choose to do all sorts of weird and wonderful activities that they’ve been looking forward to during their careers; they often involve buying camper vans and exploring their home country that they’ve always been too busy to visit or dedicating their time to worthy causes like Michael has chosen to do.

Former GP Michael Nelki collects and dismantles prosthetic legs from hospitals in the UK for Legs4Africa at least one day a week.

Michael packing a pallet for the OTC in Ghana

Here’s what Michael has to say about it

“I am a retired doctor who thoroughly enjoyed my work in family General Practice. It’s all so different now! I also did charitable medico-legal report writing on behalf of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

The week after my retirement, I became seriously ill from which I am still recovering.

I heard of Legs4Africa on a local BBC news item. I knocked on their door. After some initial hesitation about a strange old man turning up on their doorstep, I was warmly welcomed to the small friendly group of dedicated enthusiasts.

My role is to help collecting discarded prosthetic limbs from different hospitals, help dismantle them and create boxes ready for shipment to hospitals in different countries in Africa. It fits my temperament and needs perfectly; medical, Afrophile, practical, driving (an old Land Rover Defender). It’s tangible and productive. It is also incredibly useful work. For example, a prosthetic leg will enable mobility and free the arms from crutches. And, without the donated parts the cost would be prohibitive.

But why do I go back to Legs4Africa each week? Well, all of the above!”

What is the Legs4Africa Gold Badge and why has Michael got one?

The Legs4Africa Gold Badge cannot be bought, it can only be earned. Reserved for extraordinary advocates, supporters and members of the Legs4Africa family this badge is always given in person, and is exclusively received by complete LEGends. With only a limited amount made in the entire world, you gotta do something pretty special ‘like Michael’ to be awarded one of these.

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