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Boy With No Knees Can Finally Own a Pair of Shoes

Update Date: Mar 21, 2013 11:17 AM EDT
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Little three-year-old, Ted Johnson can finally own his first pair of shoes after receiving prosthetic legs with feet. Johnson was born with a rare condition called tibial hemimelia, and did not have shinbones, knees or ankles. Johnson was given two other types of prosthetic legs but never with feet until now.

Johnson was fitted for his new legs, a set of new blue fiberglass with feet and played basketball for the very first time at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.  Johnson is now able to explore areas on his own with a new look on life.

"He's incredible - nothing stops him," Johnson's mother, Abbie, said.

Johnson's parents Abbie and Peter were left with the extremely difficult decision to amputate their son's legs when he turned one. When Abbie was pregnant, doctors could not detect the condition and she and her husband believed that their baby boy would be born healthy. However, at birth, the doctors informed her that her baby had a rare condition of tibial hemimelia, where the shinbone is either partly or entirely missing. This condition can also leave the feet partly deformed with several more toes. The condition has a 30 percent chance of affecting both legs and is usually detected during birth. Although some treatment options include fixing and repositioning the feet and lengthening the leg for the mild cases of the disease, most cases require amputation. Despite having to make that decision, Johnson's parents are happy that their son adjusted to the new prosthetics so easily.

"We thought he might need a frame to get around at first, so I can't believe how well he's doing. We're going shoe shopping tomorrow for the first time," his parents said.

The man behind the prosthetics, Jim Lavranos who created all of Johnson's previous legs was also shocked at how fast the boy has adapted.

"He's getting these much earlier than we'd normally do it, just because he's so confident and quick. He'll fly through these."

For three-year-old Johnson, his perspective of the world has just changed. 

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