Flying as an able-bodied person has the potential to be uncomfortable, but to fly with a prosthetic leg is a completely different ball game. For those who are unfamiliar, or even take for granted how easy it is to travel as an able-bodied person, YouTuber Footless Jo shows us what it’s like to travel by plane as an amputee.
Jo Beckwith, AKA Footless Jo, severely injured her ankle almost two decades ago in a horseback-ridding accident. Following complications from that accident, she had her leg amputated below the knee in October 2018.
Jo now wears a prosthetic leg that has a seal-on suction system with a tight-fitting, rubber-like sleeve and liner that allows the artificial limb to stay on properly, but the pressure it creates can be very uncomfortable especially when she sits for a long time. While Jo can relieve some of that pressure thanks to a valve in her leg, the air pressure changes that occur during a flight make it very unpleasant for her. That’s why she needs to take the time to remove her leg after and in-between flights, as well as massage and elevate her limb remnant.
Jo flies with her prosthetic leg attached. TSA allows prosthetics in carry-on and checked luggage, but for amputees that can obviously translate to a lack of mobility and independence, and traveling in a wheelchair can be very challenging.
Unsurprisingly, Jo has to carry all sorts of special tools and accessories with her when she travels, including an extra liner, extra sleeves, some special padded socks for comfort, a special tool to remove the foot from her prosthetic leg, lubricant, special detergent for her sleeves and liners, her running blade and a hex key to fit it onto her leg.