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news News Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Tuesday, June 4, 2019 10:03 AM - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 10:03 AM

Patient surprised with state-of-the-art running blade

With help from foundation's gift, POPS staff surprised Luis with new prosthetic

Patient surprised with state-of-the-art running blade

During Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia’s outreach clinic in San Juan, Puerto Rico in April, staff were able to surprise patient Luis with a new, state-of-the-art running blade prosthesis, thanks to a generous donation from the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation.

Born with a limb discrepancy in his left leg, Luis’s parents made the decision to amputate his left foot, which was growing from his knee without any calf. The amputation would allow Luis to use a prosthetic leg more efficiently.

Luis has been a patient at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital for most of his childhood. Traveling from Puerto Rico for surgeries and prosthetic services for 10 years, Luis and his family’s most recent trip occurred as Hurricane Maria was hitting their homeland.

Now 14, Luis’ love of basketball takes center stage in his life, allowing him to feel no different from his friends. Thanks to the customized work of our Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) – Northeast, LLC, technicians, Luis is able to show his love for the game everywhere he goes. His most recent prosthesis features the jersey of his favorite player – Michael Jordan.

Last month, Luis thought he was visiting our outreach clinic in San Juan for general maintenance of his prosthesis and a check-up with our POPS staff. But his parents and our POPS staff coordinated a surprise for Luis.

With funds from a donation from the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation, staff members were able to provide Luis with a new, state-of-the-art running blade prosthesis that will allow him to participate more actively in sports.

To test the fit and the comfort of the running blade, staff encouraged Luis to run and jump down the clinic hallway. After a wobbly start, Luis was excitedly jogging around the clinic with a big smile on his face.

After Jim and Evelyn Piazza’s son Tim tragically passed away in February 2017, they created the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation in his honor.

As stated on the foundation's website, “In order to fulfill Tim's life and career goals, and to give life to his legacy, his family and friends have established a foundation in Tim's memory to help others who are in need. The Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation provides support to those who are in need of prosthetic devices.”

Luis trying out new blade