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הבלוג של מורית

Omer wants shoes

13 July, 2015

Bright eyed and vibrant Omer is his parent's firstborn son. He is their prince and heir and knows it. Omer is smart, friendly and loved and has been endowed with almost all the traits parents dream of. When Omer was 9 months old this family's dreams were shattered. Without advance warning Omer was attacked by a random flesh eating bacteria. Within a few short hours he went from a roly poly baby to being extremely ill in an intensive care unit fighting for his life. This type of bacteria rapidly reproduces and can cause devastating destruction, multisystem organ failure and even death within a few hours. Few children survive this devastation, even when diagnosed quickly. Omer won the battle. With the help of the intensive care medical and nursing staff, medications, prayers and a family that refused to give up Omer survived. Only part of Omer's body survived. He lost both legs, one hand and most of his right arm. What kind of a future could possibly await? Omer was not going to let a passing illness define his life. His enchanting smile and sharp wit, along with a child's amazing ability to overcome even the biggest obstacle, are still there. At age 2 Omer was already using his hand stumps to play games on an ipad. By 4 he was writing. He can dance, play ball, climb onto a chair and do many other things that seem impossible for someone in his condition to do. No one ever told Omer that these things are out of his reach so he succeeds. We in ALYN, working with Omer daily, know that there will come a time where Omer's charm and decisiveness will not be enough to bridge the gap and there will be things he is unable to do. There will be things from brushing his teeth, turning a light switch, dressing or eating to physically getting from place to place that Omer will have to learn special ways to do. All of these are thing we all do without much thought. So began the long process of giving Omer new legs. How does a baby learn to walk? He begins by learning to stand – hesitantly and with repeated falls until he safely stands tall and straight. He then takes small steps while holding on – to his mother, tables, chairs etc. to gain confidence. How can Omer do this? He has no legs to walk on and no hands to help him with his first steps. What Omer needed was a whole team of Orthopedic Surgeons, physiotherapists and prosthetic specialists with a plan. The right appliances had to be decided on, made and fitted. A walker Omer could actually use with his hands had to be found. Above all Omer had to be convinced to cooperate and participate in this long, and at times frustrating, journey. It turned out not much convincing was needed. Omer had a goal: he wants shoes! We started by teaching Omer to ride an arm driven bicycle. This taught Omer the joys of seeing the world from higher up and that moving quickly makes life easier. The next stage was teaching Omer how to balance on his arms while moving his body. This was done through different games and continued until he became confident with his strong upper body. Only then did the big day when Omer could be fitted with legs arrive. Omer couldn't wait. Even before the prosthesis arrived he convinced his parents to buy him new shoes! Omer's feet will never tan in the sun. He will never skin his knees playing soccer and will never outgrow his shoes. But his new feet will take Omer anywhere he decides to go. For us – that's the only thing that really counts.