One of the great things about our line of work is that we get to meet and work with patients – people – from all walks of life and backgrounds. Temesgen Larson was born in Hosanna, Ethiopia and was adopted by the Larson family in August of 2010. Before he came to the United States, however, Teme lived a vastly different life than most Clark & Associates patients.
In Ethiopia, Teme was born and raised in a stick and mud hut that included a traditional cooking fire in the center of the floor. When he was six months old, Teme rolled into the fire and severely burned his left leg. Even though he miraculously survived, he was not done suffering the consequences of his injury.
As his leg healed, the scar tissue pulled Teme’s leg into a fixed 90-degree angle, with his tibia being pulled under his femur. In order to move around, Teme had to crawl. Since his mother was ill and unable to support him and his siblings, Teme supported them by begging on the street. A local orphanage worker found Teme and spoke with his family about adoption in the hopes of him receiving medical treatment so he could walk again.
After being adopted by the Larsons, Teme had an above-the-knee amputation at Gillette Children’s Hospital in February of 2011. He was then fitted with his prosthesis the following summer.
With most patients, the loss of a limb indicates a turning point where they lose abilities they had. For Teme, who had never been able to walk, the amputation was a great benefit. Gaining the ability to stand and walk upright was a life-changer for him.
He now stays very active, playing football and wrestling without his prosthesis. Teme’s favorite sport is basketball, which he plays almost every day. He also works out at the gym most days, preparing for the different sports seasons and working toward his dream of being a college wrestler.
Scott Larson, Teme’s adopted father, said working with Clark & Associates practitioner Andy Steele has been a great experience.
“We have worked with Andy the entire time and he is wonderful,” Scott said. “I can’t say enough about the expertise and care he has given. He really has shown a lot of interest in Teme’s development.”
We are proud to have been able to help Teme so far, and look forward to seeing him do great things in the future!