"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.
God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know,
and holds us responsible to act." Prov 24:12

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shriners, Helper Arm & Helper Legs

We headed back up to Shriner's this past week to pick up Sasha's new helper legs and helper arm. He had been fitted for them about a month ago during our last visit. We had a such a great time as a family... it was a little mini vacation for us. We had to stay two days this time so they could put on the new equipment and adjust it, fix some things as needed and so that he would have time to work with the OT and PT. He did great. I honestly did not think that he would want anything to do with any of it but I couldn't have been more wrong. He blew everyone away with how much he accomplished in those two short days. He stood on his own, with no one holding him or helping him, the very first time they put the helper legs on! That was unbelievable! I wish I had a picture of it but he actually stood without holding onto anything or anybody for about five minutes. We were blown away. This is all so hard for him. He has never been in that position before in his life, and it takes so much strength and stamina to stay in those helper legs in an upright position and he did better than we could have ever hoped for. We were all so proud of him!

I can't say that he really likes his helper legs too much but the fact that he not only let us put them on but then worked on standing in them says a lot. Who knows, maybe they will work for him and he will want them to be a part of his life... maybe not. It's his decision but right now we just have to get him used to it so he can make an informed decision as he gets older. His helper arm on the other hand...

Wow, this totally shocked me. I thought he would HATE his helper arm and not want anything to do with it. I couldn't have been more wrong. He LOVES it, absolutely LOVES it! He loves the cane attachment because it allows him to play in an upright position in a way he hasn't been able to before. He can roll balls back and forth, smash playdough, etc. It has opened up a whole new world for him! He doesn't mind having it on at all which is so great. The funny thing about the cane is that I never intended it to be something that could help him play when I had originally asked for it but he came up with some great ways to use it. I had originally asked them if they could make him a crutch/cane type attachment to help him scoot faster around the house. They kind of gave me a funny look when I asked since it really hadn't been done before but they did it... and it turned out great! Not only will he be able to use it for scooting but now, playing as well! We are so excited about this.

His helper arm is pretty neat. You can screw different attachments in and out, depending on his needs. Right now we have a cane attachment and an elbow type attachment that has a clip that can hold spoons, crayons, etc. It is really neat, really lightweight (which is great) and such a blessing. I couldn't be more grateful for all the wonderful people at Shriners who have provided all this equipment for our son. Here are some pics from our trip up there...

Standing in his new helper legs for the first time. Look at that stance... looking so cool Sasha!

Happy boy!

Sitting for the first time with his new helper legs. He is so cute! Do you notice how his feet are backwards? His prosthetist asked if we would be okay with him doing this as it would help him with his balance. He said some parents refuse because they don't like the way it looks. We assured him that we did not care about how it looked... if it helps him to stand better, then go for it! It's not like we don't get stared at every single moment of every single day already, LOL! Now we will just have people shaking their heads thinking, "That poor child, his parents don't even know how to put on his legs properly". Too funny!

I love this pic. He's just so cute!

Rolling the ball to mama. He has never been able to roll the ball back and forth in an upright position. This was a big moment for him and he LOVED it!

Trying out the spoon attachment for the first time. He can't wait to get those M&M's in his mouth! He did it over and over and over again. He worked so hard!

Day 2 at Shriners... working with the PT.

Still working hard...

Rolling the ball with his favorite attachment, the cane.

Working hard for some M&M's...

Practicing with some yogurt. SO proud of him!

Using and loving his arm in his home environment...


  1. Oh my goodness!!! I recognize that OT/PT room. : ) We've been there for Micah a few times!

    LOVE, LOVE the helper arm & legs!! Both my kiddos have asked to watch the video clips over & over...SO FUN!!

    Way to go, Sasha! Such a hard worker!

  2. So Exciting Sasha!!! Keep up the good work!

  3. Way to go Sasha! such an amazing kid!

  4. Life is good! Way to go, Sasha!

  5. Have you seen the new little guy on RR with limb differences? His name is Trent. He reminds me of your Mr Sash. I know Trent could do amazing things!!

  6. Hi! I wanted to say hi (as a fellow mom of an amputee adopted internationally) and to let you know that there is a terrific group of parents of amputees called "I-CAN", or International Child Amputee Network. Their website is this: http://www.child-amputee.net/ . On there you can read tons of bio stories of kiddos (several quad amputees) and join their e-mail list and now they are also on facebook as a group. I've been a part of these guys since 1997, the year before I adopted Reese from Russia (triple amp) and have gone to a couple of their yearly get-togethers. They are a very warm and encouraging group that I encourage all new (or old!) parents of kids with amputations to join. You can ask questions, offer advice, or just vent. We are all friends there. Hope to see you with us soon! :o) Hugs and kisses to Sasha! (He's ADORABLE!!)

    Missy (They know me as Melissa on the I-CAN group, though - just FYI)

  7. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    I just wanted to tell you that my daughter has been so inspired by Sasha that she wants to study OT. School is a huge struggle for her, but she is determined to try a 2-year OT assistant program. She is a very bright, caring girl who will do the job well, but getting through college and boards will be hard work because of her learning disability. We think it might take her 3-4 years, but she is determined. Keep posting Sasha updates.

    Blessings to you and yours.