Thomas Brock tells story of meeting Paul Lawrie on Sky Sports News' My Special Day
On the latest episode of My Special Day, Thomas Brock - who had a leg amputated after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011 - gets a surprise golf lesson from 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie. Here is the 18-year-old's story in his own words...
Last Updated: 18/12/12 9:03am
The doctors gave me the option to have the lower half of my left leg amputated, something I found very hard to come to terms with, but I knew in the long run it would give me the best chance of a cure. I will never look back on my decision - it's by far the best decision I've made.
I had my amputation at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and soon after I was transferred to the teenage cancer unit. After coming around from anaesthetic I had a quick look at my leg.
It helped me cope and realise the cancer was gone. I was never sad about the operation. I only had one focus on my mind and that was to be cancer-free! After five days in hospital I was discharged and allowed home.
A few days later I was receiving physiotherapy from the Aistley Ainsle in Edinburgh. First starting off with a 'pam aid', which is an inflatable walking aid. I soon progressed to using a prosthetic leg with crutches and walking stick, then eventually began walking on the prosthesis without any aids.
After I was discharged from hospital I was playing golf on one leg, until the point I received a prosthetic leg. At first was a huge challenge for me, but eventually I had accomplished that challenge.
I had my operation on the Monday, and the following wekk I went to the golf club for the first time. I shot a 73 on one leg! It was a great round. Everything came together for me on the day but I needed a bit of luck. I wasn't really thinking about where to put the ball, I was more worried about falling over and hurting myself!
Getting back into golf using a false leg was really hard at first. After a few months I was given a new golf leg, which has a spinning hinge inside. This allows me to rotate more easily and get through the ball a lot better.
After receiving the new golf leg I found playing golf was just the same as it was before I had my amputation. Before too long I was back playing weekly medals and returned to playing in junior team events.
Before long we had gone from winning the Edinburgh Junior League to winning the Scottish Junior Team Championships. We are off to Spain in March 2013 to represent Scotland against England, Ireland and Wales.
I knew the Sky Sports cameras were coming to the golf club, but I thought it was to talk about the Junior Championships. I had no idea what was in store for me.
When I saw on Sky Sports News that I was taking part in My Special Day and that I would meet Paul Lawrie, it's safe to say my face was a picture! I had no Idea whatsoever! For hours afterwards I was still in shock and couldn't believe that this was real.
I was so shocked but so excited at the same time. I was so thrilled that I'd be meeting an Open Championship winner and a member of the Europe's Ryder Cup team! I was told I'd meet him the following Tuesday, and it was all I could talk about.
When Tuesday finally came I was so excited but at the same time nervous too. When I first initially walked into Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, Paul was there waiting to greet me. My face automatically lit up!
After he showed me around his golf shop and introduced me to his staff he took me through the picture-lined corridor he calls 'The Gallery'. Every single picture brings so much emotion and inspiration. After we had discussed the pictures he took me downstairs to the teaching bays. Paul introduced me to his coach Andrew Locke and the pair of them gave me a lesson. I can't even explain how I felt... I was totally amazed!
After my lesson we went to the coffee shop where Paul and I had a general chat to recap what I needed to do to improve my swing and my putting. To my shock Paul handed me a bag which contained clothing, some signed Ryder Cup photos and books, golf balls and lots more. He even gave me a cap which is the same as he wears on tour.
To top the day off Paul brought out a big case which to my amazement contained the Claret Jug. I was stunned. My jaw dropped. It was such an amazing a feeling to see it, and hold it.
We then posed for pictures with it, and it's a picture I'll cherish forever. What a day. I've not felt this good in a long, long time.
Make sure you tune in to My Special Day on Tuesday to find out more, from 7am on Sky Sports News HD, channel 405.
If you've missed either of the first two episodes, featuring Tottenham and Manchester City, you can catch up and watch bonus footage at our website www.skysports.com/myspecialday.