FIVE-year-old Leo White has achieved a world first and become the star of the playground.
He is the first child to receive a paediatric leg cover for his prosthetic limb and couldn’t be prouder of it.
Leo was born with a left leg 50% shorter than his right leg due to a congenital condition called Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency and Fibular Hemimelia, which were picked up at his mum’s 20-week antenatal scan.
His family and doctors decided his best option was to have the left leg amputated, which was done when he was 20 months old.
And although mum Claire always encouraged Leo to be proud of his prosthetic leg, the new cover – with a Pokemon design – had her son literally dancing with joy.
Claire said: “As soon as he was fitted with it, he started dancing in it with his three-year-old brother Ashley.
“The leg cover means that now Leo’s whole prosthetic limb looks incredible. It is a great way to express himself, his individuality, and a big confidence booster as he grows up. He loved showing it off to his friends at school.”
It is all the work of former Paralympic swimmer and medallist Mark Williams, founder of award-winning Welsh company Limb-art, whose covers give a perfect leg shape under trousers and leggings as well as offering maximum protection for a child’s prosthetic.
Mark said: “I lost my own leg in a cycling accident when I was ten years old.
“The NHS prosthetic legs are really functional but look terrible. When you put one of our covers on, it just alters it phenomenally.
“We have been designing and making adult leg covers for three years and it has always been an ambition of mine to make a version for children.”
Mark added: “It is incredibly moving to see the response from a child like Leo when they have been fitted with a bright and colourful LIMB-art leg cover. Instead of being embarrassed by their prosthesis, they are always proud to show it off.”
Leo’s family was offered the opportunity by charity Steps, the Warrington-based charity working for all those whose lives have been affected by childhood lower limb conditions.
Claire, from Greater Manchester, added: “We feel very honoured as a family that Leo is the first to receive a paediatric limb cover – Steps and Limb-Art have done an amazing job.”
Loredana Guetg-Wyatt, CEO of Steps, said: “The vibrant new Limb-art covers for children are great fun.
“At a time where health professionals are battling with resources, we welcome a product that a family can order online and receive directly at home.
“We are confident that the new covers will boost children’s self-esteem and confidence and allow them to wear their legs with pride in front of their family and friends.”
- LIMB-art: Tel. 07771 973982
- Steps: Tel. 01925 750271