Dakari Miranda was born with a one-in-a-million condition that left him without part of his right leg and is now walking thanks to a prosthetic leg.
Technology enabled a Chicago toddler to move and it's simply amazing. Dakari Miranda was born with a one-in-a-million condition that left him without part of his right leg and is now walking, thanks to a prosthetic leg. The toddler took his first steps 8 months after undergoing an hours-long surgery to have most of his right leg amputated.
A Chicago toddler who was born with a one-in-a-million condition that left him without part of his right leg is now walking thanks to a prosthetic leg. https://t.co/sujNM3nYzF— ABC News (@ABC) August 15, 2022
Dakari was born without a tibia, or shinbone, in his right leg, a rare condition known as tibial hemimelia. The boy's mother, Dawn Miranda, was 20 weeks pregnant when she learned about the condition. She also mentioned that doctors talked to her since the beginning about possibly needing to amputate her son's leg. "Once we found that out, I was distraught," Miranda told Good Morning America. "That was like the scariest thing I'd ever heard." Being a mother it was obvious for Dawn to worry about her son's future. She mentioned that she was very worried if her son would be able to run or play with his siblings and friends. But Dawn did not give in to her worry. She started to research the condition and later joined a Facebook group of parents and people with tibial hemimelia, she said she grew optimistic about her son's future.
Always great seeing how well these kids can do. In this case, limb deficiency "reconstruction" is not the right path for everyone. Article: Boy born with rare condition takes 1st steps with prosthetic leg @LurieOrtho @LurieChildrens @NMOrthopaedics https://t.co/cjtNUwZGiD @GMA— Romie Gibly MD PhD (@GiblyMd) August 15, 2022
"I just started to realize that Dakari is going to be great," said Miranda, adding that she was also encouraged by Dakari's orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Romie Gibly, who told her that one-day Dakari could be a field goal kicker for the Chicago Bears. "He made me feel like don't think because Dakari not going to have the rest of his leg, that his life is over."
After Dakari was born, his parents were presented with two options by the doctors. Gibly, a board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago said They could either try to preserve the foot and build a leg for Dakari through multiple reconstructive surgeries and lots of rehabilitation work, or they could perform an amputation and fit Dakari with a prosthetic leg that would allow him to start walking immediately, and on schedule for him developmentally.
Both Miranda and Gibly claim that after observing the challenges Dakari faced when attempting to crawl and walk with his foot as it was, they were more convinced to amputate his leg. "Over that first year of life, it became really apparent pretty quickly that the foot was really just getting in his way," said Gibly. "It just kind of flopped around and he didn't really have any control over it, and it really prevented him from getting moving."
In December, Gibly oversaw the surgery to amputate Dakari's leg from below the thighbone. Soon after the surgery, once his surgical cast was removed, Dakari was able to crawl and move, according to both Gibly and Miranda. "When we went to get the cast-off, the kid shot down the hall like a sprinter," said Miranda, adding that seeing Dakari's joy was a relief after having to make the decision to amputate his leg. "He was on the move and it was almost like he wanted to say I appreciate it, like thank you so much."
Boy born with one-in-a-million condition takes 1st steps with prosthetic leghttps://t.co/hjE3AP766M— Barbara White (@bigbarb111) August 15, 2022
Over the next several months, the team at Lurie Children's Hospital worked to design, fabricate and fit a prosthetic leg for Dakari. "[Adults] say that losing a limb is like losing a family member and having to relearn to walk using a prosthesis at an older age is difficult," said Breanna Baltrusch, a board-certified prosthetist and orthotist who treated Dakari. "For Dakari, he’s not going to know any different. His first steps are with a prosthesis." She continued, "Most pediatric patients become fantastic prosthetic users because they’ve learned to acclimate to the prosthetic from the start."
Boy born with one-in-a-million condition takes first steps with prosthetic leg https://t.co/8NjT1m7i3W MirandaA Chicago toddler who was born with a one-in-a-million condition that left him without part of his right leg is now walking thanks to a prosthetic leg.— KTBB Radio (@KTBBRadio) August 15, 2022
Dakari will need to have his prosthesis adjusted over the years as he grows and may need future minor surgeries, but he is not expected to have any limitations due to the amputation, according to both Baltrusch and Gibly. "He's done with the hard work so he can just move on and learn to walk and make progress," said Gibly. "And probably the biggest factor for him is [his] family, who are engaged and interested and enthusiastic and supportive." Deavinna Edwards, 16, Dakari's older sister said she has bigger dreams for her brother and now she can play with very much ease with him as it is easy for him to run around. "In high school, he could probably be on the swim team and be like Michael Phelps or play basketball or he can follow in my footsteps and play volleyball," she said. "I can see he's really more comfortable and confident now."
Cover Image Credits: Twitter