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Enzo Gets Back in the Game

Philadelphia patient is back in the game after receiving a new prosthetic device.

Enzo was born with bilateral fibular hemimelia, a rare birth defect where part of, or a patient's whole fibula in the leg, is missing.

He became a patient when he was 10 months old after his family learned that Shriners Children's was able to offer below-the-knee amputation and a prosthesis to help Enzo improve his functional abilities.

Growing up with a prosthetic leg has not stopped Enzo, now 18, from doing anything that he loves. Whether this is through sports, video games, or playing with his two brothers, he has remained active and unstoppable. Within the past few years, he has grown to love the sport of basketball.

When he isn't coaching his younger brother's basketball team, or playing video games, he usually can be found playing a game of pickup basketball with his friends.

With traditional prosthetic feet, it can be challenging to play a sport, as they lack rotational and multi-axial movement, which ultimately places a lot of stress on the residual limb and knee joint. To improve his performance and comfort level while playing, Enzo was recently fit to receive a state-of-the-art high-activity foot with a torsion adapter. This was made possible thanks to the Timothy J. Piazza Foundation.

The Timothy J. Piazza Foundation was founded after Jim and Evelyn Piazza's son Tim tragically passed away in February 2017. They created the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation in his honor.

As stated on the foundation's website: "In order to fulfill Tim's life and career goals, and to give life to his legacy, his family and friends have established a foundation in Tim's memory to help others who are in need. The Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation provides support to those who are in need of prosthetic devices."

We chose this high-activity foot with a torsion module to allow additional rotational movement when pivoting and turning, and to absorb shock when landing from a jump. These features will not only improve Enzo's athletic performance, but increase his comfort while playing.
Calli Clark, MSPO, CPO/L, Director of Orthotics and Prosthetics, Shriners Children's Philadelphia

With this new device, Enzo is looking forward to additional mobility when playing basketball, as well as finally being able to wear flip-flops. "I can wear flip-flops now!" he said.

Shriners Children’s is so thankful for the generous support from the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation. Since 2018 they have granted over $228,000 to the hospital. Their foundation raises money and awareness through various events including an annual golf tournament, where patients like Enzo have spoken to the crowd and shared their gratitude.

Enzo’s senior year took a turn when he developed an infection after amputation revision surgery that he had in February 2022. He was out of school from November 2022 to March 2023, and returned to school with just enough time to attend his senior trip to Walt Disney World. Enzo is now an incoming college freshman.

Until his infection was fully healed, Enzo could not receive his new prosthetic. Still, Luis and Jen, two practitioners from the Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services department, knew exactly what to do! They made a temporary prosthetic in-house so Enzo could enjoy his senior class trip. "Luis and Jen did everything they could to get him to Disney," said Andrea, Enzo's mother. To thank Luis and Jen, Enzo surprised them both with T-shirts that read, "My prosthetist made my trip."

Enzo and his family are incredibly grateful to Shriners Children's and the care provided to them. "Words cannot describe how grateful we are. Whenever you call, someone is always there. It's wonderful,” said Andrea.

Learn more about the care provided to children and teens who use prosthetic devices.

Enzo Can't Wait to Play Basketball With His New Prosthetic

Enzo has been a patient of Shriners Children's since he was 10 months old and recently received a new prosthetic device, thanks to the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation.

Enzo wearing new prosthetic device

This high-activity foot with a torsion module will improve Enzo's basketball game and increase his comfort while playing.

Enzo and two practitioners

Enzo with Luis and Jen, two practitioners from the POPS department

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