African boy gets freedom with new set of prosthetic legs
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - A young boy from Africa received a life-changing Christmas gift with the help of an area doctor and a little girl who knows his struggle all too well.
Three years ago, Chris arrived in Michigan for the first time. He was born with a rare birth defect and had to have both legs amputated. He left with prosthetic legs but he's a growing boy.
The 6-year-old boy took his first steps down the sidewalk, a special moment thanks to the love and support of a global village.
"We were contacted by the children's medical mission network and they said 'we have a child coming in from Africa, can you make a pair of prosthesis for him?'" said Jeff Ropp from Ropp Orthopedic Clinic.
Chris could no longer walk with the prosthetic legs he went home with and returned to Commerce Township to be fitted for a replacement.
"One of the biggest issues is that he grows out of them. these prostheses that we have are adjustable in length and circumference so they can be adjusted," said Ropp.
Chris got his new legs just in time for Christmas after donations of more than $50,000.
"We talked to six different manufactures and they donated feet, knees, socks, liners, and attachments for it," said Ropp.
That's not all. Chris also got help from someone who knows his struggle, a little girl named Stella.
She was born with a congenital condition and her legs had to be amputated as well. She's on her fourth set of prosthetic legs and is getting a new walker. Her older walker, too small for her, is just right for Chris.
"I'm giving someone my walker and I feel happy because I get to help people that are a lot like me," Stella said.
Chris doesn't speak English and has some speech delays but everyone around him, including his host mother, says he was so happy and excited and is now headed home with his new freedom.