Defying all odds, Jorge Dyksen, 16, a quadruple amputee originally from Panama, has scored his first game goal.
Having to live without arms and legs since he was 14 months old, Jorge has made it a point to live life like a “normal person.” “I have no legs and arms, and I can do everything without them,” Jorge told ABC News. “I can kick a soccer ball, I can hit a baseball, type, and even text.”
Jorge plays starting forward on the Manchester Regional High School junior varsity soccer team in New Jersey. Attributing his love for soccer to his Panamanian roots, Jorge’s goal this year was to score a goal by the end of the season. Last Friday afternoon, not only did Jorge make his first game goal, he also scored the only point for his team.
It was Manchester Regional Falcons versus the Eastern Christian Eagles. It was the second penalty of the game and Assistant Coach Daniel Sanchez called on Jorge to take the shot. “The defender made a mistake, the ball hit his bicep area, and the referee called a penalty shot off the handball,” Sanchez explained. With just minutes left in the game, the Falcons trailing at 0-2, and it was all eyes on Jorge. “The goalkeeper went to his right and Jorge went to his right, the goalkeeper’s left,” said Sanchez. The goalie got caught in the middle, and Jorge scored his first game goal.
Jorge’s victory dance resembled a “mini-airplane without the arms” and “the crowd eventually acted as if he won the World Cup final,” Sanchez recalled. ”He is such a heartwarming person, just to be able to see him reach that, it was great, fantastic,” Sanchez told ABC News.
“I was excited for him,” adoptive mother Faye Dyksen said. “Jorge knows kids on the opposing team, and so both teams were just all congratulating him, he was so thrilled.”
Jorge’s lower legs and arms were amputated after he suffered a skin infection that prevented blood from circulating to his fingers and toes. He was officially adopted by the Dyksen family just months before he turned 16. Every year, Jorge travels back and forth between Panama and America to receive new prosthetic legs and the proper medical attention he needs. Adoptive parents John and Faye Dyksen became a volunteer host family for Jorge every year. Jorge spends nine months in New Jersey with the Dyksen family and three months in Panama for the summer with his biological family.
Jorge was the youngest of three children and his birth parents couldn’t provide for his special needs. Faye notes that Jorge’s biological family in Panama made a “sacrifice of love.” It costs about $27,000 for a pair of prosthetic legs. Every year the Dyksens, along with fellow church members, organized fundraisers to raise the funds that would provide Jorge with the ability to walk on his own.
After three long years, the adoption process was complete in September 2012, and Jorge officially changed his last name from Grajales to Dyksen. “He’s always been a part of the family,” said Faye, who has five kids of her own. Two of her five kids were a little weary when they first learned of the baby who was a quadruple amputee, but “when we went to the airport … all the fears just went away,” Faye said. “It was kind of like love at first sight.”
Jorge said he doesn’t consider himself disabled. “I just feel like a normal person because everyone treats me like it. I just keep going on and doing what I want to do,” Jorge said.
As a coach, Sanchez was proud of him for reaching his goal. “It’s a warm feeling you get when you see someone is able to become successful,” Sanchez said. Reaching his goal so early on, Sanchez hopes Jorge is inspired to continue to score goals throughout the rest of the season.
Jorge eventually wants to become a motivational speaker, but for now, he will continue to touch and inspire others around him with his love for soccer and life itself. His message is simple: “Never give up.”