A toddler walked on prosthetics for the first time in adorable video – after his parents made the agonising decision to have his legs amputated.

Louie Brown, from Columbus, Ohio, was born with missing bones in both of his legs meaning there was no hope of him ever been able to walk, his fingers and thumbs were also fused together.

Doctors gave his parents Emmy Brown, 29, and Justin Brown, 27, the option of amputating both of Louie’s legs at the knee or saving them by putting him through ‘excruciating’ reconstructive surgery every few years of his life.

After discussing their options with other parents of amputees they made the difficult decision to have both of the tot’s legs removed and the surgery went ahead when Louie was 11 months old.

Stay-at-home mother Emmy and structural engineer Justin reached out to a charity last month who provide free prosthetics to children and heartwarming footage shows Louie adapting to his new custom-made legs.

The video shows how quickly Louie is progressing and Emmy says he can run as fast as other children his age.

Emmy said: ‘He was so excited the first time he saw the legs. He thought it was so cool when they were bending.

Louie Brown, from Columbus, Ohio, walked on prosthetics for the first time in adorable video – after his parents made the agonising decision to have his legs amputated

Was born with missing bones in both of his legs meaning there was no hope of him ever been able to walk therefore his parents made the agonising decision to amputate both his left above the knee

Was born with missing bones in both of his legs meaning there was no hope of him ever been able to walk therefore his parents made the agonising decision to amputate both his left above the knee

Parents Emmy Brown, 29, and Justin Brown, 27, with adopted sons Tay, 12, Jojo, five, and baby Louie

Parents Emmy Brown, 29, and Justin Brown, 27, with adopted sons Tay, 12, Jojo, five, and baby Louie

Emmy and Justin beamed for a sweet snap with Louie right after he was born via C section

Emmy and Justin beamed for a sweet snap with Louie right after he was born via C section 

Louie was born with missing bones in both of his legs meaning there was no hope of him ever been able to walk, his fingers and thumbs were also fused together

Louie was born with missing bones in both of his legs meaning there was no hope of him ever been able to walk, his fingers and thumbs were also fused together

‘The video of him walking is amazing, I’m overwhelmed with tears of joy. He’s keeping up with his peers and when he doesn’t have prosthetics on he keeps up with them on his nubs.

‘When he was born, he was missing the tibia in his legs and he was missing digits on his hands. He has a fused thumb and index finger.

‘We connected with amputee families and they said without the tibia we should amputate and look into prosthetics because they’re advancing every day.

‘Doctors said they could maybe save the legs and do reconstructive surgery throughout his life but that would be awful. 

It would be excruciating for him and he’d have to have lots of surgeries. They couldn’t guarantee he’d have good mobility.

Louie was born missing the tibia in his legs and he was missing digits on his hands,  he also has a fused thumb and index finger

Louie was born missing the tibia in his legs and he was missing digits on his hands,  he also has a fused thumb and index finger

After discussing their options with other parents of amputees they made the difficult decision to have both of the tot's legs removed and the surgery went ahead when Louie was 11 months old

After discussing their options with other parents of amputees they made the difficult decision to have both of the tot’s legs removed and the surgery went ahead when Louie was 11 months old

Dad Justin was pictured kissing Louie's feet before he went into the surgery to have his legs amputated

Dad Justin was pictured kissing Louie’s feet before he went into the surgery to have his legs amputated 

‘It was awful making that decision. We still to this day have moments where we say we can’t believe we had to make that decision but we see him in his prosthetics running around and we know it was so worth it.

‘He would have had one or two surgeries already to reconstruct the legs. He would be in pain and not able to walk well. We’re sad he had to go through it but we see him doing well and it’s worth it.’

The couple had been desperate for a child and were in the process of adopting sons Tay, 12, and Jojo, five, when Emmy fell pregnant with Louie.

Louie will need a new set of prosthetics fitted every two to three years as he continues to grow and thanks to his new legs Louie will be able to play sport, run and swim with his friends

Louie will need a new set of prosthetics fitted every two to three years as he continues to grow and thanks to his new legs Louie will be able to play sport, run and swim with his friends

Emmy said that he was so excited the first time he saw the prospect legs, saying he thought it was 'so cool when they were bending'

Emmy said that he was so excited the first time he saw the prospect legs, saying he thought it was ‘so cool when they were bending’

After the parents reached out to a charity who provide free prosthetics to children Louie was fitted with new custom-made legs

After the parents reached out to a charity who provide free prosthetics to children Louie was fitted with new custom-made legs

Louie loved his new prosthetic legs that even came with an adorable children's cartoon design on them

Louie loved his new prosthetic legs that even came with an adorable children’s cartoon design on them 

What is Fibular Hemimelia?

There are two long bones in the lower leg: the thicker one is called the tibia and the thinner one is the fibula. 

Fibular Hemimelia is present at birth where the tibia is shorter than normal and the fibula is missing or underdeveloped. 

The condition is rare, occurring in approximately 1 in 25,000 births, but is the most common form of leg bone problem present at birth. 

It is usually unilateral (affecting one leg) and bilateral fibular hemimelia (affecting both legs) is much rarer. 

In most cases it is unknown why fibular hemimelia occurs. 

It’s thought that something happens during early growth of the leg.

Severe cases may be picked up at scans during pregnancy, but not always.

Treatment is always tailored to individual children but can include reconstructive surgeries or in the worst cases amputation of the limb.

Source: NHS 

She says they were over the moon and had the most ‘ideal’ pregnancy up until the 20 week scan when doctors discovered some ‘physical abnormalities’ that could prove fatal for the baby. 

Emmy said: ‘We had no inclination that anything was wrong and it was the most ideal 20 weeks of our lives. We were so excited, it was amazing.

‘At the scan, his legs looked really small for his body and they were crossed and tucked underneath him.

‘They said it could be fatal and he might not survive the pregnancy. We were devastated. It was awful, one of the worst moments of my life.

‘We were hoping and praying it wasn’t fatal and we’d be able to help him. They ruled out it been fatal but they couldn’t tell us anything about his quality of life. His organs were growing ok and he’d make it full term.

‘We were just happy with that news even though we were devastated. We tried to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

‘I think back to those moments where we thought he might not make it through pregnancy and now he’s running at two and a half.’

Louie will need a new set of prosthetics fitted every two to three years as he continues to grow and thanks to his new legs Louie will be able to play sport, run and swim with his friends.

Emmy said: ‘It’s given him the ability to run. He’s so energetic and always on the go. When he had the surgery, they told us not to let him run on his nubs but we had to hold him down. He’s so resilient, it’s crazy cool.’



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