John Jackson, Olympic athlete

Age: 37. Injury: Ruptured Achilles tendon

John Jackson is a Royal Marines Commando and a member of the Great Britain Bobsleigh Team. He competed in both of the last two Winter Olympics, with his team achieving fifth place in 2014.

In July 2013 John suffered a complete rupture of his Achilles tendon. He had a pioneering surgery to repair it so he would be ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics which were due to take place seven months later. The surgery involved minimally invasive internal bracing. Medical cable/wires running through the centre of his Achilles tendon were attached to three pins drilled into into his heel.

He started having problems again in October 2014 and after a couple of scans the medical team thought that one of the pins wasn’t secure as it should be. John was put back on crutches for six weeks to try to help the bone grow back around the pin to make it more secure.

Rather than using conventional crutches, John decided to use the iWALKfree. He points out that “to be able to still walk in a relatively normal fashion as opposed to overloading the arms and shoulders” was a nice change, adding that “still being able to keep the weight off the injured area and still managing to do basic life skills that can’t be done on standard crutches” was a real benefit.

This was particularly important for John as he had recently moved into a new house two months before, had an eight month old puppy and his girlfriend was six months pregnant with his fourth child. The iWALKfree meant that he could still function around the house, performing tasks such as decorating, cutting the grass and other small jobs. He says that “being able to reduce the work load on my pregnant girlfriend was a big help.”

“Being able to reduce the work load on my pregnant girlfriend was a big help.”

John is currently studying again, doing a BTEC Professional Diploma (Level 5) in Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage at The Massage Training School in Exmouth, Devon. He says that the iWALKfree “allowed me to carry books around while doing course work.”

Happily, John has now recovered and restarted his bobsleigh training with the Great Britain Bobsleigh Team in St Moritz at the start of 2015.

John Jackson - Olympic Athlete - Ruptured Tendon

Dr Steve Cade

Injury: Fractured talus & medial malleolus (ankle bones)

Lancaster-based paediatrician, Steve Cade, has been an ice-climbing enthusiast for 25 years and had always managed to escape serious injuries until a fall from the ice during a recent trip to Norway left him with a fractured talus & medial malleolus (ankle bones).

He was x-rayed in a Norwegian hospital but there was no sign of a break on the X-ray so he returned home in a wheelchair. When the pain didn’t subside, Steve’s medical team at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary carried out an MRI scan which revealed the fractures, obscured by another bone. His lower leg was put in a cast and he was told that it would be NWB (non-weight bearing) for three months, after which the plaster would be removed and the injury assessed to decide whether an operation will be necessary.

Steve was sent home with crutches but his ability to deal with his ankle injury was exacerbated by whiplash that he’d suffered in a recent car accident.

“I simply couldn’t use shoulder crutches because of the whiplash and even elbow crutches put strain on my shoulder so I couldn’t used them either. I was facing three months with no mobility.”

Instead he found the iWALKFree.

Dr Steve Cade - Ice - Fractured Talus

“I ordered one straight away and it arrived the following day,” Steve continues. “After a twenty minute practice I was able to take the dog for a walk and one month on the iWALKfree has helped me to get on with a normal routine inside & outside the house. The only downside is that it means I have no excuse for getting out of the vacuuming!”

Steve has been so impressed with the iWALKfree that he has shown it to his orthopaedic consultants and to his colleagues at the hospital where he works.

“Everyone’s initial response is ‘isn’t that clever’” says Steve, “but its cleverness lies in its simplicity. It is a great idea implemented really well and for me it means the difference between three months as a couch potato (watching daytime TV) or getting out and about while my ankle heals – the dog loves me again as well !”

Harrison Ford (Yes, the famous actor!)

Location: Pinewood Studios, Injury: “Shattered” leg

We don’t have a quote from the screen legend, but we couldn’t leave out our most famous customer. He said we’d get great photos when he called us to get one, and he wasn’t wrong! Thanks, Harrison.

Harrison Ford - Daily Mail - False Leg

Wayne Taylor

Age: 39. Injury: Lisfrank fracture (foot)

Wayne had a serious foot injury and an instruction to keep his weight off the foot for at least nine weeks. Wayne tried conventional crutches at first but found that they not only restricted his mobility but also made his arms and shoulders ache.

“I had seen TV chef Simon Rimmer on the tele using a crutch that attached to his leg so that he could move around and still use his arms to cook,” explains Wayne, “so I got online and discovered that the iWALKFree is available in the UK through My GP was lukewarm about the idea but my consultant said it would be fine so I ordered one, it arrived the next day and I was able to get on with both work and home life from there on in.”

“I had seen TV chef Simon Rimmer on the tele using a crutch that attached to his leg so that he could move around and still use his arms to cook.”

As a result, he was able to get back in the kitchen to indulge his passion for cooking and, with the aid of an automatic company car, he was also able to get back on the road to do his job, simply storing the iWALKFree in the boot and putting it on when he arrives.

Abi Shrapnell

“So I’m about to shamelessly plug iWALKfree, I have now been using my iWALK (courtesy of Jerry Jones) for 46 days, i still have at least another 12 days, but i feel completely confident in waffling about how amazing it has been. So far in this time it has allowed me to continue working, starting back just 2 days post op, start a new job, go camping with family, treat patients in uni clinic and obviously do other things like get around the house etc. It is by far the best medical purchase we have made, it doesn’t hurt my knee too much, despite the knee being in a flexed position my handstrings don’t appear shortened and i can still hyperextend that knee. Far less hard on my body that crutches, every person with Ehlers–Danlos syndrome should consider using the iWALK in place of crutches!”

Jim Davis

Age: 71. Injury: Achilles tendon

“Where we live in Milford-on-Sea we’re on a hill so when the car had a flat battery I thought I might be able to get it started if I could get it going down the hill and put my leg out of the door to give it a push off. The force and the awkward angle tore my Achilles Tendon creating a 20mm gap and I ended up with my lower leg in plaster for eight weeks, with a surgical boot to look forward to after that.”

Jim’s doctors decided not to operate because of his age and sent him home with crutches which he found inconvenient and uncomfortable.

“We live in a split level house so even getting around on the ground floor involves going up and down steps. My mobility was so restricted on the crutches that I nearly injured myself again! I decided to have a look online to see whether there was an alternative and that’s when I came across the iWALKFree hands-free crutch.”

Once equipped with his iWALKFree, Jim was not only able to move around the house freely – even up and down stairs – but was also able to get back to his boat refurbishment project.

“The specialist told me that if I wanted to sail again I’d need to keep off the leg for at least eight weeks but I couldn’t face the idea of sitting around for such a long time.

Thanks to the iWALKFree, I’ve been able to follow doctor’s orders get on with stuff so hopefully I’ll not only be able to sail again but I’ll also be able to get the boat finished ready for the sailing season this summer.”

Jim Davis - Achilles Tendon - Boat

Hawkeye Parker

After 2.5 years of struggling to save a badly damaged leg, I elected to have the lower half of my right leg amputated. While I knew I would obtain a prosthetic leg, I already had well over 2 years of dealing with crutches and wasn’t particularly looking forward to using crutches on and off for the rest of my life. After searching the Internet, I located and was simply amazed at what I found! This product wouldn’t have changed my mind about the amputation, as I am extremely happy with my level of activity with my prosthetic, but I wish I had found the website years earlier. As I understand, these units were initial designed to help individuals with lower leg injuries (ankle, foot, etc) … but it is a God-send, in my opinion, for below-knee amputees!

“When packing for any over-night trip, my ‘crutch’ is always right beside my luggage. When flying, I don’t trust the airlines not to lose it, so it is one of my carry-on pieces.”

At six months post-op, I had the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip with my church. Every evening after taking off my prosthetic leg, I used the hands-free crutch to get to the shower, since I don’t have a ‘shower leg’. The facility we were in wasn’t handicap friendly, but with the crutch, I had no problem getting around without my prosthetic leg.

Last summer while on vacation, I wore it on the beach and into the water so I could go snorkeling with my daughter. I was able to wade out into the surf, take off the crutch and secure it to a nearby railing. With the sturdy construction of the crutch, all I had to do afterward was dunk it in the fresh-water rinsing tank to clean the salt-water and beach sand off and let it drip-dry. (Without the crutch, I wouldn’t have even attempted snorkeling, due to the prosthetic liner and socket system I use.)

When counselling new amputees, one of the first questions I am asked is “What have you purchased to be able to cope as an amputee?”. My answer is always:

  1. A shower chair
  2. A bed rail (so that I don’t try to ‘stand up’ while still groggy and end up falling)
  3. Hands-free crutch – so that I can still have total mobility, even without my prosthetic leg

“I share about the hands-free crutch as much as I am able, and I consider it a privilege to share my story on this website.”

More customer reviews

“What amazing service! I received my iWALK this morning just 24 hrs since I placed my order. Thank you so much. I have already assembled and walked, with no problem, around the house. It is really easy and very liberating after 9 days on crutches.”
Penny, August 2015

“Hi Jerry, the iWALK2.0 arrived a couple hours ago, easily assembled, watched the videos etc and have been walking without crutches! Just amazing! Really happy with my discovery and purchase of this product. Many thanks also for speedy delivery. Kind regards, Maryam”
Maryam, October 2014

“So I’m about to shamelessly plug iWALKfree, I have now been using my iWALK (courtesy of Jerry Jones) for 46 days, i still have at least another 12 days, but i feel completely confident in waffling about how amazing it has been. So far in this time it has allowed me to continue working, starting back just 2 days post op, start a new job, go camping with family, treat patients in uni clinic and obviously do other things like get around the house etc. It is by far the best medical purchase we have made, it doesn’t hurt my knee too much, despite the knee being in a flexed position my handstrings don’t appear shortened and i can still hyperextend that knee. Far less hard on my body that crutches, every person with Ehlers–Danlos syndrome should consider using the iWALK in place of crutches!”
Abi Shrapnell, August 2014

“This is a fantastic bit of kit for anyone who is frustrated by ordinary crutches following a lower leg/foot/ankle injury or surgery.”
Sally Powles, August 2014

“Quite possibly the best invention ever for someone that has had foot surgery… nearly 5 weeks in and this iWALKer has kept me sane!!!”.
Sam Moore, July 2014

“I’ve recently had a fairly major op on my foot/ankle and am not allowed to weight bear for 3 months. I’m in a cast and looked forward to 3 months on crutches. One week after my operation and I’m mobile….this is a fantastic product and I’d like to say a big thank you. Love, love love it.”
Barbara Illingworth, May 2014

“It is a fabulous product and gave me a great deal of freedom to get about that would not be possible with crutches.””
“Great product for a broken ankle – made domestic life possible.”
William Stewart, October 2013

“From a personal point of view I would recommend the iWALKfree to anyone with a lower leg, load bearing problem and please use my comments as a recommendation on your site if you wish. The iWALKfree enabled me to get around the house with my hands free and function as close to normal as possible. To be able to make a cup of tea and carry it back to my seat in front of the TV, on my own, was major progress after a few days of losing the use of my hands with traditional crutches!!
Dean Edwards, June 2013

Andy Brown, June 2013

“Thanks for sending the iWALKfree knee crutch. It has enabled me to do many activities both at work and on holiday. Please see the attached photo of me on the canal! The hospital staff were impressed too.”

Andy Brown - Canal - Crutch

“I used the iWALKFree when recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. I think it is a great invention enabling one to get back a measure of independence when dependent upon crutches.”

Having watched the ‘how to video’ a few times on the manufacturer’s website, I found setting up and getting the knack of using the device to be reasonably straight forward. Clearly practice is required and over time one realises how to fine tune the settings (height of straps, position of peg) to get the best setting.

Of course it is not without drawbacks: an hour at a time is about as much as you want to restrict the leg in that position; whilst I found it good for pottering around the house, it did not suit me to go for a ‘real’ walk as I found my knee cap rubbed and developed a blister. However, overall, faced with the alternative of being limited to crutches, the iWALKfree brought me sanity during a frustrating period!”
Tom Tichler, April 2013 (Tom was using the iWALKfree Mark 1, the iWALK2.0 has addressed this issue).

“Dear Peglegs and iWALKfree, Just a quick line to say how pleased I was with the iWALKfree that I purchased from you. It meant that I could operate normally at work right after my Achilles tendon operation even though my office is at the top of six flights of stairs and there is no lift! There is no way I could have done this on traditional crutches but with hands free it was easy. My Consultant had not seen the iWALKfree before and he was totally amazed by it. If you would like to use this as a testimonial please do so. I think the product is fantastic!!”Christopher Sherlicker, April 2013

“The iWALKfree has been a great help with my broken ankle. I started to use it a week after coming out of hospital and after a couple of tentative weeks I was walking the dogs. I found it most useful around the house when I was on my own. It allowed me to cook and look after myself with ease.”
Philip Yapp, April 2013

US and Canadian Reviews

The iWALKfree has been available in Canada and the USA for longer than the UK. Here are some customer comments from across the pond:

Canadian Flag

US American Flag

“On July 19th; 8 screws & 4 hours later I was out of surgery, after a successful ‘open rt ankle fusion’. On July 21st, I left the General Hospital in Ottawa without the aid of a wheel chair! My wife brought me my ‘iWALKfree’ crutch; & after I demonstrated the COMPLETE FREEDOM & SAFETY I had in using your crutch; they allowed me to leave wearing it!!! I am now at home enjoying the freedom of my recovery period; thanks to you & your ‘iWALKFree’. Words can not express my gratitude. Being a London hotelier it was impossible for me to work after suffering a double break in my left leg, however the revelation came after my consultant mentioned the iWALKFree crutch. Wow! The difference it made to my life was nothing short of spectacular, allowing me to function almost fully as normal. I have no hesitation in recommending this product !!!”
Bryan Farr

Peter Baxter, Richmond

“I walked in the 2 mile walk during part of the Parkersburg, WV Half Marathon event this weekend. You should have seen the looks on the faces of people in the crowd. I didn’t get to see it, but people said they saw it on the 11 pm new last night. I was dead last and got smoked by an 86 year old on a cane. However, I was the first man across on one leg. No one in the town… has ever even heard of iWALKfree.”

“I can’t believe how easy this thing is to use and how big a secret it is.”

Peter Baxter - running marathon

“What a great invention! It makes life better to include golf in my life, even though I can put zero weight on my leg. If not for the iWALKfree, I would have been unable to get my hole in one. My scores are not much higher either, this round I shot a 79 and my regular handicap before the accident was a 6.”
Dave Sanders

“I crushed my leg a month ago when my horse fell on me, resulting in ‘tib/ fib’ fractures and ‘no weight bearing’ for (so far) five weeks. After three other stints on crutches before, the idea of a long crutch ‘season’ was beyond depressing. I saw a woman with a foot injury using a little scooter so I started looking for it online and came across i walk-free. I liked the idea of the hands-free crutch so much more than the scooter because it didn’t require any use of your hands to operate or stabilize it and of course, the stairs can be navigated easily. I ordered it and couldn’t WAIT to get it and did it deliver! I have a hobby farm with 10 horses and I am able to do all the chores (I couldn’t even get out of stall mucking) because I no longer have my “lame excuse!”

When I first got it, I used one crutch on the off side to help with balance and I still use the off side crutch when I go over uneven ground outside–but otherwise, once you get the hang of it, and the adjustment correct, it is so much easier and more comfortable than crutches. I wear it all day except to sit or drive and it does take some practice using the toilet. And people are always asking me to say ‘Arrrrr’ like a pirate when they see me coming. But it’s brilliant. Thank you!!!!”
Joe Truckey

“Just a quick note to thank you for the iWalkfree. I had a very bad injury to my left foot and ankle: multiple 3rd/4th degree sprains, torn plantar fascia, etc. I was on crutches for 4 months before I stumbled onto the iWalkfree (just searching around online). It changed the entire experience of my injury. Of course, the main thing was that I could be mobile and use my hands at the same time. After four months on crutches, just being able to carry a glass of water from one room to another was a wonderful extravagance. I used the iWalkfree for another 6 months before I was able to walk again. I got very comfortable with it. I went hiking with it over lava beds in Hawaii. I learned to up and down stairs pretty quickly with it. I went dancing with it (and it was hilarious). It really made a huge, positive difference in my healing process. Thanks very, very much.”
Nancy Turner, Afton, MN

“iWALKfree has enormous potential in the management and rehabilitation of traumatic lower extremity injuries.”
Ron King

“…and there was no pain. For me, the Walk-Free was the difference between working and not working.”
Dr. Hans Kreder MD, MPH, FRSC, (C)

“I use it every minute of the day and I seriously rely on it as if it was my leg. I would be lost without it.”
Katherine Mark ON

“I would have missed 6 to 8 weeks of work without it […] it works pretty good. I can’t believe no one else has thought of this before.”
Daniel Lee Hoel WI

“Your [iWALK] has changed my life…it is the only thing I use.”
Jon Mahachek MN

“It really made a difference in Christy’s healing.”
Lian Zerafa ON

“As a General Surgeon, I spend my working hours standing at an operating table, impossible with crutches…and have been on my I-walk-free …for nearly six months. This device is one of the most fantastic, original, insightful and important medical innovations of recent years [&] has allowed me to maintain my job, my family, and my sanity despite a nasty injury.”
Cindy and Christy Curtis, WA

“iWALKfree has allowed me to continue with virtually all my regular workouts. I’m convinced that it will get me back into the game sooner.”
Richard W. Shallman MD. WA

“…thank you for inventing the iWALKfree. It’s a great design that returns much of my physical abilities (and emotional well being) during my recuperation.”
Cody Ledbetter, QB, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

“…it made a huge difference in my life…i was able to help around the house, and get out of the house much more. I’m sure this added exercise sped up my recovery quite a bit.”
Bill Rennie P. Eng. AB

“…how invaluable this product has been for me. [The iWALKfree] was a wonderful relief.”
Ian Hetherington AB

“You the man! This thing rocks, I had it out of the Box and on in seconds.”
Allen Quon, Calgary, AB

“It made a world of difference. I was back to work a week after the accident. The best thing…is that it is much safer than traditional crutches.”
Angus Sutherland, AB

“An elegant solution.”
Dan Blocka B.Sc., C.O. (c), F.C.B.C

“…[iWALKfree] sure has made my injury much more tolerable during the mending period.”
Ed Cronin PA

“A lifesaver!”
Scott Brutsche, AZ

“I started out on crutches, switched to a wheel chair and then I heard about iWalk…by the next day, I amazed everyone with my mobility…the best part was that I could carry stuff and open doors.”Robert Livingstone ON

“I had the iWALKfree on my leg in about 5 minutes and was walking around the room. I feel better now that I can work without having an assistant help me carry papers around the office and be more useful at home with simple things that I could not do on crutches.”
Lee Forrest NC

“It truly did get me back on my feet. I was able to service my [own] patients better. Thanks again.”
Keith M. Smith C.O

“The brace fits well and I am using it with a great deal of satisfaction. Many, many thanks for the prompt personal attention that you gave this matter.”
Cliff Johnson

“… am pretty impressed with the whole thing. … It is a great thing to go out, buy beer and not have to have the clerk help you out to your car… I LOVE THIS THING! Thanks!

“…I just wanted to drop you a line and express my profound thanks for inventing the iwalk free crutch. It is everything that your web site states. I ordered your product because of the extreme pain in my shoulders being experienced while using normal crutches. That requirement was more than satisfied, but to my delight many small items of daily living were also vastly improved. I am now able to stop and pick up a fountain drink at the local store without slopping drink out everywhere. I have been able to change the spark plugs in the wife’s car and I am getting ready to take a long vacation in New Zealand that was being dreaded with crutches. I work as an engineer at the Kennedy Space Center and in the course of my work I have to access areas in large hangars. Before the iWalk free crutch it was all I could do to get from my vehicle to the work site without having to look for a spot to rest and recharge for the next movement. Now I am able walk to the most remote work areas and conduct business without any extreme discomfort. Thanks again.
Marvin Land, Kennedy Space Center

“Over four years ago I spent six months on my iWALKfree, healing a complicated ankle fracture. Since then I’ve loaned it to my brother for achilles tendon surgery, twice! Today I strapped it on again as I’ve just had all the plates and screws removed from my ankle. I still think it is a fantastic piece of design work. Cheers!
Rick Shallman, MD, WA

“Hello, My name is Christine Pierangeli and I just want to let you know how happy I am to have my iWALKfree device!! I broke my foot October 16th and have been non weight bearing since. I ordered your device (we call it “Peggy”) a week after being cast-ed and I have to tell you, it has completely saved my sanity. I have an 8 month old and a 3 year old and I am a stay at home mom. Crutches were not an option! I couldn’t even be home alone with my kids and that was tough emotionally and financially. Last week I got word that I will be non weight bearing for 6 more weeks and I would surely have withered at that news if not for “Peggy”. I get around wherever I want to go. I StairMaster and lift weights daily at that gym and that has been so crucial to my mental and physical health! More valuable than any of that, I can get my kids to preschool, grocery shop and run errands. Just wanted to let you know how happy I am, …I wish you great success in the future and will be doing my share to make sure anyone with a need knows that your fabulous device exists! Gratefully…”
Christine Pierangeli, CO

“My daughter has a condition called CRPS that prevents her from bearing weight on her left leg. Your device has given her both the freedom and mobility to perform a wide variety of activities. Last week she walked 6 miles one day and 7 miles the next day along the mall in Washington DC. This week she was in Baltimore, MD and walked all over the Inner Harbor area.”
Brian Jackson, AZ

“I ruptured my Achilles Tendon early this past June. As this injury has a long recovery cycle, I decided to investigate alternatives to crutches. I quickly came to the conclusion that the iWalk-Free solves most of the prevalent problems with crutches, and does so far better than any of the other alternatives I could find. The key is that with only a couple of hours of practice, I could negotiate stairs, even without a railing. This allows me to go in and out any entrance of my house and easily work around the yard. What a relief to be useful and independent again. I even played catch with my 10 year old in the back yard.It is amazing to me how attention I still get and how few people have seen or even know about the I Walk-Free. It has been a godsend! Thanks for your product as it has tremendously helped me get through my injury.”
Tyler Hooper, MA