ST. LOUIS – A 3-year-old Metro East boy can walk again thanks to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
On Feb. 28, Josiah’s prosthetic leg was stolen out of his backpack in his mom’s car. Josiah was born with a condition called VACTERL and was born without his left leg and hip.
On March 1, Josiah’s grandma, Karen, messaged 5 On Your Side to ask for help to find the prosthetic. And while the prosthetic leg was never found – the community stepped in to help.
When Darren Rottman, the head of Pediatric Orthotics and Prosthetics Services, heard the story he reached out the family. Rottman began the process right away to begin building Josiah not just a replacement, but a new prosthesis that’s updated for his current needs and size. He even got to personalize his new leg.
Fast forward to March 12 - and Josiah received his new leg. He customized it with minions.
Rottman was also the one who created Josiah’s first prosthetic leg a little over two years ago.
“It means a lot… you know anything we can do as an organization to help anyone is great, but when you can step up in a situation like this – how unfortunate it began and to have a happy ending like today… it means the world,” Rottman said.
Josiah’s mom, Brie Rainey, is grateful for Shriners Hospitals for Children’s help.
“They [Shriners] just reached out immediately and not only the head Shriners, but just people that work here. We had just so many people reach out to us and offer all kinds of support and they wanted to take care of the prosthetic and get it done as quick as possible,” Rainey said.
The person who took the backpack with Josiah’s prosthetic leg hasn’t been found, but Rainey said this all worked out in her son’s favor.
“People make mistakes, I made a mistake, the person who broke into my car made a mistake – but God doesn’t make mistakes, he worked this all out in Josiah’s favor.”
Josiah’s grandma, Karen Stephens said people have read their story across the world.
“I said I’m just going to Google Josiah and I tracked him as far as Korea, Germany, the UK, I tracked through almost every state in the united states as well. The outpouring has literally been unbelievable,” Stephens said.