(This story is courtesy of the parents of a minor patient, who happens to be three years old.)
Our little boy was born prematurely via emergency c-section with a very rare in-utero phenomenon that damaged the bottom of his right leg and his right foot. The injury was becoming life threatening, so at 3 days old, he had a below-the-knee amputation. It was a long, nerve-wracking day for us as new parents, still recovering from birth, still acclimating to the NICU. However, he came through it all safely, was off of the morphine in just two days, and came home a week before his original due date.
The next year flew by with all of the usual baby milestones. Our boy was a super fast crawler and a busy explorer. Just after he learned to pull himself up, a few weeks before his 1st birthday, he got his proto-type prosthetic to learn to toddle properly. His first leg did not have bendable joints because the first lesson little kids have to learn in standing and walking is balance.
Today, our little boy is an active, happy 3-year old. He has a bendable knee now, which acts as a great shock absorber as he runs, climbs and slides. He is fearless in trying new things and going to new places. He is always the last child to come in from the playground when his preschool teachers call the class to line up. He is learning to swim and loves to meet animals, anytime and anywhere. His normal is our normal, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
(*We, as parents, have chosen to keep our son’s real name and face private. However, we are happy to share some of our parenting story if it helps others.)