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Patient-Turned-Athlete Thriving After Overcoming Rare Leg Injury

A motion analysis center study shows patient Yakobo’s incredible transformation.

Doctors at Shriners Children’s Spokane are celebrating the successful treatment of a patient with a unique childhood injury.

Patient Yakobo and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was about 5 years old. Our surgeons believe he suffered a bone break and infection in his lower leg while living in Tanzania. There, doctors told his parents the only option was to amputate part of his leg. However, his parents sought help specifically from Shriners Children's Spokane in hopes of saving his leg. It is a decision that would later change Yakobo’s life.

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Bryan Tompkins, M.D., recalls meeting Yakobo and his family for the first time. Yakobo was missing part of his bone in his lower leg and struggling to walk upright. After examining Yakobo’s leg, Dr. Tompkins simply said, “We can make you walk better.”

Through a series of surgeries and therapy under Dr. Tompkins’ guidance, our experts were able to correct, lengthen and strengthen Yakobo’s leg. They were able to study and track his developments in the hospital’s motion analysis center, the only one of its kind in the region. In just a few years, Yakobo was able to walk, jump and run like many of his peers. Dr. Tompkins also gave Yakobo clearance to participate in any activity he wants without restrictions.

Today, Yakobo is a senior in high school and very active in sports. He participates in a local boxing club and plays basketball. He often reflects on his childhood injury and how his life could be much different today. He credits Shriners Children’s Spokane with changing his outlook and giving him the ability to lead an active lifestyle.

KREM 2 News recently featured Shriner Children’s Spokane and Yakobo in a story. Watch the full story here.

Two images of Yakobo - during a motion analysis and in the gym

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