After losing her legs and fingers to bacterial meningitis, the resilient Amy Zahra has channelled her determination to live a normal life into setting up a support group for amputees.

"We realised that there lacked a group that offered support for the needs that are particular to amputees," Ms Zahra said as she explained what triggered her and other amputees to take the step.

Amputees 4 Amputees will offer support to patients before and after an amputation as well as lobby for changes that would improve the quality of life of amputees, Ms Zahra said. Improving accessibility to wheelchair users or people with artificial limbs would be high on the group's agenda.

Each year about 160 amputations are carried out, most of which are on elderly people as a result of conditions that affect blood circulation. Amputations on younger people are usually due to rare conditions or accidents.

These people needed support to cope with the amputation on a psychological, physical and rehabilitation level, she said. Two trained volunteers, themselves amputees, would go to hospital to offer help through their experiences.

The group, which was officially launched on Saturday by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, will also hold monthly meetings to discuss issues of concern.

They will also organise social events to encourage amputees to mingle with others and share experiences.

Anyone who wishes to contact the group can do so by sending an e-mail to or by calling 9946 7226.

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