Henry Kaminski, 50, has been a left thigh amputee up to the middle of the thigh since his accident in 1989 by a landmine.
As a peer counsellor, he provides voluntary counselling in hospitals. He supports people in coping with problems caused by impending or actual amputation. He also counsels people with amputations. The counselling takes place at eye level. Due to his own experiences, Henry Kaminski is able to put himself in the shoes of people who are dealing with the issue of amputation.
As early as 2008, Henry Kaminski was invited on a sailing trip – as a tester for a special securing construction. After the trip, Ralph Scharpenberg conducted an interview with him:
Ralph: Hello Henry, Saturday was our big day on the racing yacht. How did you come up with the idea?
Henry: Well, I live by the sea and I also like to go deep-sea fishing. Despite my disability, I am an OS amputee, I always wanted to experience real sport sailing and the offer to be a “test pilot” came just in time.
Ralph: Weren’t you worried that it would be difficult?
Henry: No, I was convinced of your construction early on and also trusted you. Whoever builds my prosthesis top won’t let me go overboard, haha …
Ralph: Thanks for the flowers, I’m happy to return them, you really did extremely well and mastered every incline, even over longer courses.
Henry: It was no problem at all. Thanks to the bucket seat and the triple safety system, I was like sitting in a box and could see the whole boat and take lots of action photos.
Ralph: Was it comfortable enough besides the safety?
Henry: Oh yes, you had reupholstered the seat and it was warm and comfortable! After some encouragement I even made it to the railing for “urgent cases”. I can only recommend this to anyone who wants to have such experiences despite or even because of a disability. It’s simply awesome!
Ralph: You would do it again?
Henry: Yes, again and again….
Ralph: What other tips do you have for our readers?
Henry: I try to live my life and don’t want to be constrained. When I get an opportunity to try something new, I’m on fire. To lose a leg is bad, but to try and experience nothing is much worse! I say, “Dare to try, there’s no end to the fun!”.
Ralph: Thank you Henry, for your words and with you again.