Ben Bronske, of Snohomish, Washington, was surprised last month by a group of Stormtroopers who came to wish him well with his new prosthetic.
“Ben was a little taken aback at first,” Ben’s mom, Sarah Bronske, told ABC News of the surprise, organized by Seattle Children's Hospital. “But by the end he was giving them high-fives and poking their armor.”
It was Bronske and her husband, Josh Bronske, both "Star Wars" fans, who picked out the unique prosthetic covering for their son.
“That was not my intention to get 'Star Wars,'” Sarah Bronske said. “I was going to get something neutral to go with all of his outfits but then I saw 'Star Wars' at the fabric store.”
Sarah Bronske took the fabric to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where Ben is treated, and the member of the team creating the prosthetic also happened to be a "Star Wars" fan.
“I thought, ‘OK, this is the one,’” Sarah Bronske recalled.
The "Star Wars" prosthetic was custom made for Ben, who had his left foot amputated below the ankle due to a rare form of macrodactyly, a congenital condition that causes abnormal growth of bones and toes in the foot.
“Ben had a most extreme form,” said Dr. Vincent Mosca, who treated Ben and is chief of foot and limb deformities at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Doing something more piecemeal than an amputation would have required four or five surgeries as he grew.”
Ben began walking as soon as he tried his new prosthetic on for the first time, in August, when he was 16 months old.
“He didn’t like the trials with the prosthetic at first,” Sarah Bronske said. “The day they actually brought in his 'Star Wars' leg, he was totally fine with it.
“By the time we got back home he was walking around the yard with no assistance,” she said. “He just totally took to it.”
Now when Ben looks down at his leg, he says, “boom, boom,” imitating the noises made by Stormtroopers.
“He definitely knows it’s Stormtroopers on his leg,” Sarah Bronske said. “When we’re out and if people are talking about Stormtroopers he’ll pull up his pants leg and say, ‘Boom boom.’”