Surgeons team up with Limb Lab to give soldier a new prosthesis
(ABC 6 News) – A lot of medical miracles happen in Rochester and Thursday was no exception.
Abdul-Razik is walking on his newly created prosthesis for the very first time. Feeling the motion of his new knee and foot with every step is something he never thought he would do again.
Abdul-Razik was a soldier in the Afghan Army when he was injured in battle in 2019. But, two American surgeons came to his rescue. One of them was Commander Edwin Ladd Jones, "I am 100-percent sure that I have not operated on one patient more than I have operated on Abdul-Razik… You just develop a bond, you see him everyday day few times a day."
Abdul-Razik talked about his experience with the help of a translator saying, "When I was shot I was feeling upset and Dr. Jones and Dr. Nick helped me out. When I was shot in the leg, it was impossible for them to fix the leg."
While the pair operated on his leg, they couldn’t save it. Abdul saying, "I felt that I was missing half my life and I couldn’t do work, and I was missing too much."
Abdul-Razik and his family arrived at Camp Randall in Wisconsin after the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan, and even though he never saw his doctors again he said he never forgot them.
"I was feeling great about it, they reached their hand to me in a difficult situation," said Abdul.
Jones adding, "Our whole experience on the deployment was just an unbelievably gratifying experience."
Now, a few text messages between old friends turned into a new opportunity.
"As soon as I got his contact information I texted him, the next day he sent a message back and he sent a picture with him in crutches in the snow and I was practically in tears," said Jones.
One of the surgeons from Mayo Clinic connected Abdul-Razik with the Limb Lab Foundation, and it took just one phone call and the foundation jumped at the opportunity to help.
"Literally seeing him coming in crutches Monday morning, and to walk out of our doors Monday afternoon when he hasn’t been able to walk for the past two years with a leg, is pretty remarkable," said Andrew Nelson, a Certified Prosthetist with Limb Lab.
In just one week the team helped to cast, fit, and deliver a definitive device. Giving this husband and father a new chance at the life he always wanted.
"So not only were we able to provide him with a new leg, but in a way to provide him with his hands again, and free them up so he can use them functionally which for the last two and a half years has been difficult for him to do," said Nelson.
"To be able to do this, I’m just so excited to think about him with his kids… I mean, I got three kids and I can’t even imagine, and it couldn’t have worked out any better," said Jones. "I have operated on my parents, father-in-law, my grandparents, but this has been the most gratifying. The whole experience… he is clearly so excited and motivated, even on Monday he was already walking down the hall."
While there is a language barrier between the men, the excitement from one father to another is something you don’t need a lot of words to understand.
Abdul-Razik will receive his last fitting Friday for his prosthesis. Then, both he and Dr. Jones will head home, both saying they can’t wait to see how his family reacts to his new leg