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news Patient Story Thursday, October 12, 2017 Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:56 PM - Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:56 PM

Tampa hospital chooses patient ambassador as standard bearer at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament in Las Vegas

Nicholas Gribosky is one of 22 patient ambassadors who will hold up scores of PGA golfers

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa is proud to announce that patient ambassador Nicholas Gribosky will be its representative at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Nicholas was chosen as one of 22 ambassadors throughout the country to represent the hospital network at the tournament, where he will serve as a standard bearer throughout the weekend. This is a rare "inside the ropes" opportunity that allows patients to carry the scores of professional golfers and how the world how Shriners Hospitals for Children has helped transform their lives.

For the past five years, the expert medical team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa has cared for Nicholas. Nicholas loves running, longboard surfing and playing paintball. Born with fibular hemimelia, an absence of the fibula, Nicholas had many casts and surgeries to allow him to walk. Although the surgeries to lengthen his leg, align his foot and stabilize his knee allowed to walk, run and play these activities were not without pain

Nicholas did a lot of research and discovered that there were many prosthetic devices that allow him to run with greater range of motion at the ankle. Through his research, Nicholas decided he wanted to have an amputation and wear a prosthetic limb so that he could be active without pain. After many tears, prayers and conversations, Nicholas and his parents approached Maureen Maciel, M.D., the chief of staff of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa, with their questions and concerns. Dr. Maciel and the entire staff spent many hours and multiple visits reviewing options. Two and a half years after Nicholas' initial request, he underwent a successful partial amputation of his left foot.

Today, less than a year after his surgery and many weekly physical therapy visits, Nicholas is able to walk, run and play without pain. Now he can concentrate on his ultimate goal, running a marathon.

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