Paralympian graduates from hospital, loses count on new legs

Young star: Engadine long jumper Sarah Walsh has graduated from Sydney Children’s Hospital. Picture: File
Young star: Engadine long jumper Sarah Walsh has graduated from Sydney Children’s Hospital. Picture: File

Engadine long jumper Sarah Walsh says she’s lost count on the number of artificial legs she has gone through since childhood.

Sarah, 19, took part in a graduation ceremony at Sydney Children’s Hospital today, where long-standing patients were farewelled as they move into adult health services.

Sarah is an Australian representative in long jump and competed at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

She was only 17 months old when she had her right foot amputated and spent plenty of time in hospital as a child.

Graduation: Sarah Walsh with special guest Channel Nine’s Cameron Williams. Picture: Supplied

Graduation: Sarah Walsh with special guest Channel Nine’s Cameron Williams. Picture: Supplied

“When I was younger I was getting a leg made every three or four months at the hospital,” she said. “But now that I’ve stopped growing I haven’t needed a new one for a while.”

She said she had no idea how many artificial legs she had gone through over the years, but has a photograph from when she was 10 with at least 20.

She said she was very grateful for all the support she had received at the hospital.

“I’d like to say a big thank you – they have been so supportive. It has been amazing to have staff like that to support you through your childhood.”

Sarah finished fourth at the world champs in London earlier this year, which marked her best finish to date at the world champs. She said her next big event would be the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships followed by the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Her goal is to stand on the podium at the 2020 games. 

Her personal best is a leap of 5.05m which she set in April.