Boy, 11, Gets His Wish for Leg to Be Amputated


“She is doing fantastic," Wagler told "She was diagnosed when she was 8 months old. Her leg broke while in a brace by 10 months. We braced her until she was 3 and it showed no signs of healing. So we made the decision to amputate at that time to give her a better quality of life.”

Ayden now has a prosthetic and has started t-ball. “She can do everything now … dance, cheer clinics,” said Wagler, 38, who lives in Odon, Indiana. “You name it, she will try it.”

As for Amit, he has watched his two older brothers play competitive soccer and longed to join them. For the time being, he has discovered wheelchair basketball and has excelled in the sport. “His coach is a four-time Olympic player and an inspiration to him,” said Vigoda. “He doesn’t let too much self-pity go on.”

In elementary school, Amit was teased for his disability. “A bunch of boys would yell, ‘Catch me if you can,’” said Vigoda. “They would limp like he did – kids can be cruel.”

But now, in the sixth grade at a Realm Charter School in Berkeley, “he makes friends everywhere,” she said. “He’s a leader and the kids respect him.”

And just last week Amit’s school awarded him with a surprise award for “grit -- showing perseverance and hard work despite constant pain!"

Vigoda, who works for the Israel-based Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation, said she has “internalized” the idea of empowerment in her own life. “I hope that it has affected my son as well.”

“Achieving healing is less important than to be able to get an active life,” said Vigoda of Amit. “My kid has only one childhood.”

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