Sports Enthusiast Lincoln is Surprised with New Prosthetic!
Just in time for the holidays, the Portland Shriners Hospital and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) were able to surprise patient Lincoln with a new prosthetic leg, custom-made to fit his specific athletic needs. Through funding provided by a CAF grant and the expertise of Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) – Northwest, LLC, at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland, who produced the leg, the holiday season began on a high note for Lincoln.
Mara, Lincoln’s mother, was in on the surprise and helped pick out the design for the new leg. Wolves are Lincoln’s favorite animal, so it seemed obvious that the majestic animal had to make an appearance on this custom prosthetic. He has already received many compliments!
“He was so very excited, and he put it on immediately!” said Mara, describing Lincoln’s enthusiastic reaction. “He had a school class right after he received it, and he immediately showed his teacher and classmates the leg, and then he went outside to run up and down the street!”
Described by his mother as a non-stop bundle of energy, Lincoln is an athlete extraordinaire and channels his high energy into several team sports including hockey, lacrosse and soccer. Though Lincoln loves any excuse to be active, some of his favorite activities outside of team sports are biking, rollerblading, playing on his scooter and skateboarding – a sport in which he is currently trying to hone his skills and master some skateboarding tricks.
“The biggest difference between this sports-specific prosthetic and other prosthetics is in the foot,” explained Todd DeWees, director of prosthetics and orthotics at the Portland Shriners Hospital. DeWees has worked with Lincoln on his prosthetic needs for the last few years. “Since it runs from the calf down the back of the leg and ends where the toes would be, it becomes a very long spring – think walking on a trampoline. This replaces some of the function lost from not having a calf muscle to drive him forward. As he puts weight on the leg, the spring becomes compressed and when his weight comes off the leg the energy stored is released. It also has no heel so as he takes a step there is nothing there to slow his momentum.”
Lincoln has a long history with the Portland Shriners Hospital – almost half his life! He first became a patient when he was 5 years old. He is now 11, and has received care for various orthopaedic conditions from Jeremy Bauer, M.D., throughout his time at the hospital.
“Throughout all of Lincoln’s visits, I have been so relieved to see the level of care from the providers for patients like Lincoln,” said Mara. “Never for a minute have I worried about him when his providers were taking care of him. We’ve been coming and going from Shriners for more than half of Lincoln’s life, and I have always known that he was safe and happy at his visits.”
The Portland Shriners Hospital has collaborated with the CAF for almost 11 years. During that time, the two organizations have worked together to deliver several prosthetic legs per year to patients through the support of generous donors who provide funding from grant programs. Because sports-specific prosthetic devices are not considered medically necessary by insurance companies, it can be difficult for families to be able to acquire them. The grants that CAF offers provides an opportunity to children who may not otherwise be able to afford these devices to fulfill their athletic dreams.
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