Dakari Miranda was born with tibial hemimelia, which means he did not have a tibia in his right leg. After surgery and getting fitted for a prosthetic leg, he has gained greater mobility.
Dakari Miranda is almost 2 years old. He was born with tibial hemimelia, a rare condition that meant he was missing the tibia, or shinbone, in his right leg. However, less than eight months after undergoing an hours-long surgery to have most of his right leg amputated, he is finally walking on a new prosthetic leg. Initially, his family worried about the kind of life he would lead but they grew optimistic after reaching out for support from other folks with the condition. Now, the young boy is on schedule developmentally, Good Morning America reports.
Always great seeing how well these kids can do. In this case, limb deficiency "reconstruction" is not the right path for everyone. Article: Boy born with rare condition takes 1st steps with prosthetic leg @LurieOrtho @LurieChildrens @NMOrthopaedics https://t.co/cjtNUwZGiD @GMA— Romie Gibly MD PhD (@GiblyMd) August 15, 2022
"Once we found out [that he had tibial hemimelia], I was distraught," revealed his mother Dawn Miranda in an interview with the media outlet. "That was like the scariest thing I had ever heard." She discovered her son had the condition when she was 20 weeks pregnant. Therefore, from the very beginning, doctors spoke to her about how her son would possibly need to have his right leg amputated. As she began to research the condition and later joined a Facebook group of parents and people with tibial hemimelia, she was more confident about being able to support her newborn. She stated, "I just started to realize that Dakari is going to be great."
MAGICAL MOMENT: Less than eight months after undergoing an hours-long surgery to have most of his right leg amputated, 1-year-old Dakari Miranda has taken his first steps. https://t.co/KRbhpUbe1M pic.twitter.com/4DLPTMac3J— ABC News (@ABC) August 15, 2022
Miranda was particularly encouraged by her son's orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Romie Gibly, who told her that he could one day be a field goal kicker for the Chicago Bears. She said, "He made me feel like don't think because Dakari not going to have the rest of his leg, that his life is over." Once Dakari was born, a board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago gave her and her husband two options. The first was to preserve the foot and build a leg for Dakari through multiple reconstructive surgeries and lots of rehabilitation work, and the second option was to perform an amputation and fit Dakari with a prosthetic leg that would allow him to start walking immediately, and on schedule for him developmentally.
The decision to amputate the young boy's leg became clearer to both Dr. Gibly and Miranda after they saw the difficulties he had in trying to crawl and walk with his foot the way it was. "Over that first year of life, it became really apparent pretty quickly that the foot was really just getting in his way," the orthopedic surgeon shared. "It just kind of flopped around and he didn't really have any control over it, and it really prevented him from getting moving." Once the procedure was completed, Dakari was able to crawl and move.
His mother explained, "When we went to get the cast off, the kid shot down the hall like a sprinter. He was on the move and it was almost like he wanted to say: 'I appreciate it, like thank you so much.'" Then, over the next few months, the team at Lurie Children's Hospital worked to design, fabricate and fit a prosthetic leg for the young boy. Already, Dakari has greater mobility. His 16-year-old sister Deavinna Edwards said that she can play more with him now that he has his prosthetic leg. "In high school, he could probably be on the swim team and be like Michael Phelps or play basketball or he can follow in my footsteps and play volleyball," she said. "I can see he's really more comfortable and confident now."