A three-year-old Cuban girl was able to part with her wheelchair and stand up for the first time after losing both her limbs to an illness just months after she was born.
On Monday, the toddler was fitted for temporary prosthetics at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, Fla.
Her mother, Jaqueline Vidal, told WFLA News that it was “very emotional” seeing her daughter stand for the first time.
“Everybody’s waiting for this moment,” Vidal told a WFLA reporter with the help of a translator. “They’ve been waiting a long time to see her walk.”
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Alexa Prieto developed gangrene while she was being treated for intestinal issues at a hospital in Havana when she was only three months old. To save her life, doctors had to amputate both of her legs.
Prieto was sponsored by a Cuban-born orthopedics specialist named Armando Quirantes, who brought her to Florida to be fitted for prosthetics.
The toddler underwent surgery to prepare for the prosthetics last fall, WFLA reported.
Dr. Bryan Sinnott, a senior prosthesis specialist at the Tampa hospital, said Prieto’s prosthetics are clear so that his team can identify problems and make adjustments as the three-year-old becomes familiar with her new set of legs.
“Because she’s a child, she’s going to learn very well — very fast,” he said.
“I think she’s going to do really good.”
Sinnott said it was incredible to see Vidal’s expression as her daughter stood for the first time.
“You watch how a mom takes in the fact her child is standing. It’s a wonderful thing,” he told WFLA News. “I’m just lucky to be a part of this.