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Manuel's Mother Helps Him Achieve His Dream

Mom's support gives Manuel the fuel to accomplish his dreams.

It has been over 10 years since Manuel’s mother, Veronica, had to make the difficult decision of having both of his legs amputated.

She knew that in order for Manuel to be able to walk, it needed to happen. At birth, Manuel was born with one foot bigger than the other. Veronica was so excited to have her new baby boy, she immediately thought of ways to make it work. She was thinking of buying one shoe a size bigger to compensate. The doctor came back into the room with the shocking news that in order for Manuel to be able to walk comfortably, he recommended amputating one leg so he can fit and adjust to a prosthetic easily. However, this would never guarantee that he would walk. Veronica went to get every “second opinion” she could find, but every hospital in Hermosillo, Mexico, had little to no faith that he would walk.

Veronica would not give up and still had faith. That faith came in the form of one doctor who asked, “Have you ever heard of Shriners Children’s? Their work is amazing and they help other families that are in similar situations to yours.” Now with some hope, Veronica researched all she could and was able to make an appointment with Shriners Children’s Southern California later that summer.

When she and Manuel had their first visit at Shriners Children’s Southern California, they were met with the warm embrace of the staff. It was an event day for the hospital. There was food, entertainment, and gifts for the families and patients. Veronica finally felt that everything would work out. Two days after their initial consultation, Manuel, who was 9 months old, was scheduled for surgery. Veronica was waiting anxiously for this time, and in the waiting room, time stood still. When the staff came out, they smiled and told her that Manuel was going to be all right. Finally, Manuel is one step closer to walking. She was able to take him back home to recover.

All I ever wanted was for Manuel to be able to walk and play with all the other kids.
Manuel's mom, Veronica

While he was recovering, Veronica felt that something was not right. The cast on the other leg began to have an irregular odor. Manuel developed a fever. When she took him into the emergency room, the doctors learned that he had an infection in that leg. They needed to move quickly in order to save his knee so he would be able to use both prosthetics. As soon as she could, Veronica went back to Shriners Children’s Southern California for the amputation of the second leg. Like the first surgery, everything was a success. When they left the hospital to go home, they left with Manuel’s first new pair of prosthetic legs. Now he can take his first steps towards learning how to walk.

With the support of family and his mother, Manuel took his first steps when he was 2. Since that day, he has never looked back with his right foot forward. Today, 13-year-old Manuel is a firecracker and is full of energy. He loves to play sports and is a frequent participant. Whether it is basketball, baseball or soccer, Manuel is on the field, running back and forth, smiling and flowing with the wind and the field. He thanks Shriners Children’s for the confidence and the opportunity to take part in all the activities he loves and follow his dreams.

Meet Manuel

Manuel loves to play sports and stay active!

manuel playing softball

Manuel playing softball, making great contact.

manuel kicking the ball outside

Manuel has his game face as he tries to kick for a goal.

manuel with his first cast

Manuel with his first cast and first prosthetic.

manuel gives his mom a kiss

Kisses for mom.

Next Steps

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