Earlier this year, Zimra Vigoda wrote on Kveller about making the excruciating decision to have her son’s leg amputated and it went viral. She’s been keeping us posted on his incredible journey and this is her latest update.
Summer came and summer went. It’s been more than four months since my son Amit’s amputation surgery at the incredible Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California and he is still in the depth of rehabilitation.
Amit’s journey from the moment he was born until today has been extraordinary. Born with a rare orthopedic condition, we have had the fortune of connecting with many wonderful individuals and organizations all over the world in an attempt to ease his pain and live his life to the fullest.
In Israel, we had a dedicated surgeon who did everything to save Amit’s leg. In 2012 we arrived in California, leg still attached to body, but function was poor and pain was once again increasing. In a closed Facebook group we met children and parents who had sacrificed a limb for quality of life. Through Amit’s wheelchair basketball activities, we learned that perspective and attitude defines the individual, and not disability. At Shriners we were introduced to the most compassionate medicine I have ever witnessed. Recently we met a wonderful family who connected us to innovative rehabilitative techniques that further empower Amit and accelerate his recovery.
We are still deep in the midst of rehabilitation but our baby steps are rapidly evolving. Today, Amit can walk, run (albeit slowly still), climb walls, and is currently trying to learn to ride a bicycle and kick around a soccer ball with his brothers.
August 22nd marked Amit’s 12th birthday. This time next year, he will become a bar mitzvah. He will become the youngest member of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
According to Jewish law, he will be accountable for his actions. Amit will be our third son to become bar mitzvah but his preparatory year at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, California will significantly differ from our previous experiences. Amit’s bar mitzvah year coincides with his personal celebration of freedom: freedom from pain and freedom from physical limitations. In many ways, his maturity far exceeds his years. When we were discussing his bar mitzvah plans, he said, “I can’t wait to be grown up so I can help others like so many people have helped me.”
We would also like to extend a special thanks to Kveller for enabling us to inspire others by bringing our story to so many people around the world.