Saturday, May 5, 2007

Iowa boy's story captures media's attention

The Des Moines Register had this article a couple days ago on Aaron Flat. Aaron is a 10-year-old boy who suffers from Holt-Oram syndrome which has left him "with two holes in his heart, and arms that are just small flaps near his armpits, with three fingers each." As if that wasn't enough, Aaron, his older brother and younger sister (who also suffers from a milder form of the same syndrome) "grew up in a troubled home and was placed in foster care." Aaron and his siblings are now living with their Aunt and Uncle who have begun adoption proceedings.

From the Register article:

"Aaron has moved in with his aunt and uncle in Des Moines, now that there is hope that medical professionals can fit him with prosthetic arms...

The arms will cost $100,000, with lifelong care for follow-ups and adaptations adding another $1 million...

Two months ago, Des Moines prosthetist Jonas Chladek told the family that the latest technology - a prosthetic device that uses the body's muscles to operate arms - would be expensive...

By the end of last week, Chladek finally got a call from Medicaid, the health care insurance for low-income Iowans. Aaron's prosthetics will be covered, and Chladek will donate his services.

The Shriners also are meeting with the family this week to explore their options. And Iowans have begun to donate to a fund set up for his long-term care.

Once he is fitted for the arms, which include a shoulder joint attaching muscles to electrodes that will move his elbow and wrist and rotate his hand, Aaron will be able to pick up items as heavy as a suitcase.

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