Jaelyn’s prosthetic journey has begun, and it was so awesome that she had the encouragement and support of the new friends/peers she met at POA throughout the week! Born with a rare bone disorder, Jaelyn has spent most of her life undergoing procedures to improve the function of her leg, including limbing lengthening. With a prosthetic leg, Jaelyn was able to walk without a walker for the first time in her life, and once surgery is completed on her other knee, she hopes to run! Thanks to Maria, Harriet, Jack, Jan, Celeste and everyone who encouraged and inspired Jaelyn and her mom during the week! #poafamily #proud #dreamcometrue #amputeelife #onherway
Check out Katie on the Matilda Jane website, looking fabulous and modeling some cute clothes! Matilda Jane Clothing Website Link
Four-year-old Charlie – recently adopted from China and missing both legs above the knee since birth – arrived at POA last month, eager to be fit with his very first set of prosthetic legs. While his check sockets were being fabricated, we introduced him to his new prosthetic “parts.” Charlie was fascinated with the feet and knees, and couldn’t wait to go to the store to pick out some shoes! “Mine,” he declared, as he held a small prosthetic foot to his cheek.
We asked Bella and her family if she could stop by and give Charlie a few pointers. Bella, age 7, was also born in China missing her legs above the knee. Ever since we fit Bella with her first legs when she was 3 years old, she has been unstoppable – running, jumping, playing tag with her siblings – you name it! When she learned that Charlie was also a bilateral congenital amputee, Bella couldn’t wait to meet him! She had never met another child with the same level of amputations before.
As Bella walked into the room, Charlie’s eyes got bigger. He motioned for her to sit down and looked at her legs, her feet, and her “little” hand. “Like me,” he exclaimed, and gave Bella a great big hug. The two quickly formed a close bond. Bella was there for Charlie’s first steps, helped him learn to get up on a chair, and from sitting on the floor to standing. “Bend and lock,” Bella instructed Charlie as he learned to walk in the parallel walks. “Bend Lock,” Charlie repeated.
By the end of the day, Charlie was well on his way to walking independently. That was when he made another connection. Regas Woods, a paralympic athlete who was also born missing both legs above the knee, was across the room discussing some adjustments he wanted to make on his running legs. Regas was wearing long pants so Charlie didn’t know he was an amputee. We invited him over to meet Charlie and said “look, he has two feet and two knees like you!” Charlie excitedly pulled up Regas’ pant legs and hugged him tight. Then he asked if we could take their photo. Charlie was beaming from ear to ear as he posed with his super hero. For the first time in his life he met two people “just like him,” and you could see the incredible instant connection they had. What an amazing day at POA. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful and caring clients who truly make a difference in the lives of others.
Charlie returned home to practice his walking, and his mom reports he is now beginning to walk independently. We have no doubt he’ll be back very soon to be fit with running legs, and Bella promises to be right there to show him how it’s done!
Bella, Iz, and Nico helped Mr. Stan welcome Lulu to POA and showed her all their *abilities*. #NoBoundaries here! Bella is a bilateral above knee amputee (PFFD), Iz is a bone cancer survivor with a Van Ness rotationplasty amputation, and Nico is missing both arms above the elbow. We will be making an above knee prosthesis for Lulu which will actually be her “good” leg while she is undergoing limb lengthening surgery on her other leg. Whatever the reason for or type of amputation, we’re committed to helping all our POA kids live fun and active lives! #poakidsrock #lovethem
Conner, born with a condition that affected the development of his legs and hips (PFFD), had never been able to walk successfully on prosthetic legs. He stayed active by playing wheelchair tennis and used short prosthetic sockets attached directly to the feet (called “stubbies”) to get around. One of our POA clients, a physician who has played wheelchair tennis with Conner, told him about our experience and success with many PFFD amputees using new technology – and now he is one of them!
Exactly one week after taking his first steps ever on full prosthetic legs, Conner returned home walking tall!
7-year-old POA Orlando client Katie Eddington made the news twice this week; first in her home state of Kentucky and then on CNN national news! This pint-size dynamo made the decision to amputate her leg last December, and has never looked back! During her most recent visit to POA we fit her with a running prosthesis with a special blade, and now Katie is training to run a 5K. Run like the wind, Katie! #POAproud #NoBoundaries
WKYT TV video:
Just received some great news and video from Franklin – he rode a bike for the first time since losing all four of his limbs to a near-deadly bacterial infection in 2011. “I hope you guys are okay. One more time I want to share with POA another goal of my life – yesterday was my first time riding (a) bike after my amputations!” After the skin grafts healed, Franklin learned to run, play basketball and ping pong, and now bike riding! We’re so proud of you, Franklin! #NoBoundaries
We had a great time with Jack and his family last week! It was especially fun when Steve Chamberland brought some of his other 50legs.org kiddos up to meet them. Another bonus was that William, who is about Jack’s age, was scheduled for an appt. that day, too. Party at POA! Happy Tuesday, everyone!
We’ve had a lot of fun with our POA kids this summer! Here are a few video *highlights* from their visits:
Last week we transitioned Gianna from a non-bending prosthesis to a “bendy” knee! Gianna caught on so quickly, she made it look easy!
We had a great week of “firsts” with Mae and Jun! Mae, a hip disarticulate, was fit with her very 1st prosthetic socket, and Jun learned to run on her 1st running leg!
POA kids ROCK!
There’s nothing better than seeing our POA kids get up and running….and having fun! Last week was a great one at POA, helping kids with all levels of amputation get moving! It didn’t matter what their level of amputation or how many limbs they were missing (single, bilateral, and quadruple amputees), they worked hard and played hard – together. One of the boys’ mom told us that he is frequently bullied at school and doesn’t know how to make friends. She’s hoping with his new prosthesis, confidence, and friendships that he will have a much better school experience next year. One of the many reasons we love to come to work every day. #ChangingLives #NoBoundaries