Boston Marathon Survivor Helps 5-Year-Old Boy Adjust to Prosthetic Legs
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
5-year-old Jude Hill isn’t letting his prosthetic legs slow him down.
Hill lost both of his feet in a crazy lawnmower accident in June 2014. His parents, Greg and Jennifer, were worried about their son and how they would handle the situation financially.
“We’re a single-income home with five kids under the age of 10 and Jude is still a growing boy, which means we’ll have to keep buying him new legs,” Jennifer Hill shared with Today. “Not to mention all the work that goes into finding the right prosthetic.”
Since the accident Hill has gone through three pairs of prostheses. It took over a year to find a pair for the little boy that were comfortable and didn’t make him cry when putting them on.
“He’s very athletic and loves sports, especially track and field,” his mother said. “He’s entering kindergarten in the fall and the thought of him not being able to partake in any sports just broke my heart.”
Luckily, Heather Abbott was able to help Hill through her own organization. Abbott lost both of her feet as a spectator in 2013 during the Boston Marathon.
“Before becoming an amputee, I didn’t know anything about prosthetics. I had no reason to,” Abbott explained. “But I learned that they’re extremely expensive and require different devices for different activities.”
Earlier in the summer, Abbott flew out to meet Hill and his family at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago to give “him two high-tech blade running feet and two running socket prostheses, which will help him run and compete in sports,” explained Today.
“Since the Boston Marathon bombing was so public, there were so many organizations wanting to help me get back to my life, but not everyone is so lucky,” Abbott shared. “It’s just so expensive for these families, so it helps me make sense of something senseless that happened to me.”
Once Hill was fitted with his new blades he was unstoppable. The 5-year-old has been super active and runs every chance he gets. He even plans on joining the track and field team.
“It’s just amazing to be able to help a child do what every other child is able to do,” Abbott said.