Two-year-old Juliette Waits was born without a bone in her left leg, a defect that necessitated an amputation before she was even out of diapers. She was fitted with her very first prosthetic leg the same month she celebrated her first birthday.
Recently, Juliette was fitted for a running blade, an upgrade that will help her move faster and more smoothly. However, the change was met with some initial hesitation: Tears of fear sprang to Juliette’s eyes when she tried on her new limb for the first time at Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates (POA) in Orlando, Florida.
Fortunately, Juliette didn’t have to look far for some courage: After seeing other amputees running on their blades at the patient care center and being consoled by an employee’s three-legged rescue dog named Vida, she was inspired to run into her parents’ arms for the first time ever.
“This was awesome to witness, and we were all very touched by it,” Karen Hughes, Vida’s owner and POA’s marketing officer, told Caters News.
“There are many times that our patients are inspired by watching others… there is nothing like peer support in this community,” Karen added.
Juliette’s mom, Amanda Berling-Waits, told the British newspaper MetroUK that her daughter spent the entire car ride home from her appointment singing, “Happy, new leg, me so happy!”
“I’m sure she will face many challenges in life, both related and unrelated to being an amputee, but I know she has the strength and determination to follow through without looking at ‘what ifs’ or unfair,” Amanda said.
See the inspiring little girl in action…
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