Alexander Lecher is not an ordinary boy. Why? Because Alexander is unstoppable.
“He loves to play with his stuffed horse Neigh Neigh,” his mom says. “And he loves to ride his balance bike, play outside in the dirt, pick dandelions, and play at playgrounds. His personality is insanely sweet. He is a people person and loves to show his sweetness to everyone he meets and swoon them with his personality.”
There is seemingly no slide too steep and no playground tower too high to slow him down - but it would surprise many who see him run and climb to learn that Alexander has a full foot prosthesis.
Macrodactyly & Syme’s Amputation
Alexander was born with macrodactyly, a congenital condition in which fingers or toes are larger than they otherwise would be, due to an overgrowth of bones and soft tissue. In Alexander’s case, pain associated with the growths necessitated a full-foot amputation in April of 2020 at the age of just two years old.
The procedure is called a Syme’s amputation, and it involves the removal of all the bones in the foot and the transfer of the heel pad to cover and support the leg bones. This type of amputation preserves the bones in the leg and allows for greater weight bearing and comfort while creating a functional and pain-free residual limb.
Once he had recovered from the procedure, it was time for Alexander to begin the process of obtaining a foot prosthesis.
Alexander Receives His First Prosthesis
By July of that year, Alex and his family came to Bionic Prosthetics & Orthotics in order to explore their options for Alexander’s future mobility. That is where they met Sheri Harper, CPO. ”Sheri came alongside us as our prosthetist and told us the process and what to expect,” his mother says.
However, the process of finding the right fit for each person always has complications.
“When Alexander received his first prosthesis - an insanely adorable horse prosthesis - I knew right away that he needed something different.” This sent Katie Lecher on a journey to find the right option for her son, and this began a quest that Bionic would undertake with her.
“I reached out to parents of other kids with Syme’s amputations, and a parent from Chicago showed me their absolutely amazing silicone prosthesis. I asked Sheri if we could look into that kind of prosthesis and she jumped right on board. I think my favorite part of this journey is that I challenged Sheri and she accepted the challenge that not only positively affected Alexander’s life, but continues to positively affect many other children who are fellow amputees.”
Going To Any Length For Her Patient
The path to creating Alexander’s new device was not instantaneous. In order to get things right, it required study and travel. Sheri Harper and technician James Bitter began to study up on the applications of silicone for such devices, both traveling as far as Spokane, Washington, to learn how to apply it to Alexander’s case.
With this new knowledge, Sheri and James returned to their workshop and were able to begin on their first silicone full-foot silicone prosthesis. Alexander’s foot was designed in-house in Cincinnati, Ohio. The change was immediately apparent.
“It takes time to adjust and learn the needs of your individual child. Once we received our first silicone prosthesis, it didn’t take him any time at all to adjust. He absolutely loves choosing the colors of his prosthesis. I love that it’s so easy for him to put on and take off by himself. Amputee life is just life to him, and that includes his prosthesis.”
Alexander is back on his feet with the device, and can now be seen climbing, running, and jumping to his heart’s content.
An Unstoppable Future and a Bright Smile
As children with amputations grow, they need to be frequently fitted with new prosthetic devices that accommodate their growing body and greater capacity. Alexander was recently fitted for his third silicone prosthesis - green, this time - and James takes pride in his innovations in the workshop, finding new techniques to help create even more realistic silicone prostheses.
Alexander has never been more ready to explore the world around him and bring smiles to the faces of everyone he meets.
Bionic, Sheri Harper, and James Bitter are thrilled to have been able to play a role in Alexander’s progress, and Katie Lecher is enthusiastic about the care her son has received. “I just want to say how thankful I am for Sheri and the whole team at the Cincinnati Bionic office.”
Alexander has many adventures to go on as he grows, and he knows exactly what he wants to do next. “He really wants to ride a horse,” his mom says. “At four years old, his aspirations aren’t too far in the future but what I do know is that nothing will stop him from doing anything he sets his mind on.”
Would you like to read more success stories like this one? Check out the Stay a Step Ahead blog for more! If you or someone you know is looking for a better fit for their prosthetic or orthotic services, contact us to schedule a free consultation at a clinic near you.