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Gunshot wound boy gets artificial limb

Baby Ali Mohammed has been craving for one  present before the end of this year: To have a new leg so that he can play football again with his twin brother. He has been looking forward to a normal life again.

The little boy’s wish has just been granted after the Kenya Medical Training College’s Department of Orthopaedic Technology finally fitted a prosthetic limb to the four-year-old.

His leg was amputated following gunshot injury during the mysterious assassination of Mombasa tycoon Shahid Bhutt on July 11.

According to the Orthopaedic Technology Department’s Head at the college in Nairobi, Donbosco K’Ochumba, Ali was fitted with the artificial leg on November 28.

REHABILITATION

The little boy underwent a series of tests and physiotherapy before the prosthesis limb was fitted on him.

“He will need an artificial leg for the rest of his life and the college has just initiated his rehabilitation as part of our social responsibility,” Dr K’Ochumba said, adding that they were calling for more support because the process was very expensive.

Ali will need to travel back to the hospital in three months for monitoring. In six months, the entire leg will be replaced due to rapid growth in childhood.

“The leg will be replaced every year until he is 18. From the age of 25, the leg will be replaced after every five years,” the doctor said, adding that it would need servicing.

A spare one would be in handy in case the one in use was spoilt. The doctor advised the boy’s mother to make sure he engages in sports.

SPECIAL LEG

“Amputation is not the end of the road. We will eventually fit him with a special leg which he will use for athletics, swimming and other sports. Such children can become great sportsmen. Look at Oscar Pistorious, for example,” he said.

A representative from KMTC, Dr David Wangila, who is a specialist in orthotics met the family of baby Ali at their home on October 1 and began the procedure of fitting the artificial limb.

It means little Ali can now play with his friends and ride his new bicycle brought by well-wishers after the Daily Nation highlighted his plight.

Ali who lives in Port Reitz, Changamwe with his single mother, grandmother, a sister and a brother was ecstatic when he was finally able to stand.