• OrthoPro of Reno

'We're thankful for life': 1-year-old gets new prosthetic legs after amputation

Author: Angela An

Published: 7:09 AM EST February 11, 2021

Updated: 7:09 AM EST February 11, 2021

Luca was born in August 2019 with bilateral fibular hemimelia, a rare birth defect that leads to undeveloped ankles and feet.

From the day Luca Yost was born, Ashley Borell knew she would have to make tough decisions for her baby boy.

“Nobody wants to cut their child’s limb off, nobody wants to see their child struggle through life,” she said. “But looking through all the options with these decisions, I had to go with quality over what any parent doesn’t want to do."

Doctors amputated one of his feet when he was only a year old. They will likely do the same with the other foot later this summer, according to Ashley.

“It’s absolutely amazing that kids can overcome something so quickly,” Ashley said. “He crawls, he climbs, he does everything a child his age would do.”

On Jan. 12, doctors fitted Luca with his first pair of prosthetic legs and he took off running, at least in his mind.

In a Facebook post, Ashley wrote, “I was so prepared for him to hate them, and he didn’t!”

Ashley created a public Facebook Group called “WeAreLucaStrong” to help document her son’s journey and to raise awareness for his condition which affects 1 in 40,000 people.

She didn’t expect the response from people and strangers who saw the family’s achievements and downfalls as inspiration.

“I want people to see that even if he takes a step back, look at how much he c

an overcome,” she said. “And that’s something that everybody can look at in their own life, no matter what you’re going through, you can always overcome it.”

She is thankful to her Massillon community and others who donated money so she could be with Luca during all his hospital visits and surgeries.

And despite what will be a lifetime of more hospital trips and challenges, Ashley says she’s thankful Luca was born to show her what it takes to be stronger.

“It has made my family stronger; it has made my kids completely understand that anything is attainable, and we’re thankful for life,” she said.

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