Noah was born August 11, 1999 in Mattoon, Illinois. He was born without any fingers or a lower right leg. Despite these birth defects Noah was normal kid. He was very motivated even as a toddler and exceeded his PT and OT goals set before by his therapists. At one when Noah started walking, we went to Shriners Hospital for Kids and he was fitted for a prosthetic leg. After a couple of different legs, we finally found one that helped him start walking. There was no stopping him.
Noah is a very inspirational kid. He is very motivated to figure out how to do things his own way despite his limitations. After hanging out with him awhile, you wonder if he has any limitations. He has adapted his whole life to making things work for him and rarely asks for help. He has inspired so many people who have come into contact with him.
His prosthetic leg did slow him down to playing very many sports. He just couldn’t run on it for a very long time. He played Upward Basketball for two years in grade school. The Upward basketball quarters were short and players were switched in and out every 10 minutes or so, which helped Noah. Noah did play one season without wearing his prosthetic leg because the tip of his leg was sore. He hopped around one leg during the basketball game.
He tried wrestling for a couple of years in grade school also. He gave it a great try. It was a little hard for him to hang on to opponents and do moves without fingers. He had some wins, though, and did great.
Noah is a very likable kid and has friends who love him. His teachers are also inspired by his hard work. In 6th grade, a year and a half ago, he was awarded the P.E. award from his coach. His coach said he worked harder than most kids with two normal legs. Not too long after that is when we found out about blade runners and received a new running leg. It has made a world of difference in the way he can walk and run.
He, his sister, and his dad ran in the Nashville Color Run in March. They had fun and Noah did awesome in his new leg.
Noah is getting ready to be an 8th grader. He loves to play with friends. He loves to be outside and be active. He is involved in the youth group at his church and loves to be a part of the mission trips the youth group goes on to help people. He serves in the children’s ministry at his church doing sound for the children’ church.
We are very proud of Noah and all he accomplishes. We are proud of his attitude of being motivated to living his life to the fullest. We praise God for giving Noah to us!
Noah – In The News
Trash to Treasure
by Noah McLaughlin
My prosthetic leg is my most treasured possession. To some people that might seem weird, but to me it makes sense. I was born without a lower right leg. When I was 1 year old, I got fitted for a prosthetic leg from Shriner’s Hospital. My prosthetic leg was made of metal, titanium, a leather corset, and plastic. These materials might not be useful for other people, but for me they put together a leg for me to walk on. I have seen on television kids from different countries that are born without legs and they have to use a wooden crutch or scoot across the ground. I am so thankful to have a prosthetic leg.
I had the prosthetic leg from Shriner’s Hospital for 13 years. It helped me play sports, run, and have fun with my friends outside. I was able to ride bikes and play in P.E. at school. This treasure of a leg helped me walk and run like every other kid.
When we had to move to Tennessee 4 years ago, I found out about a company called Blade runners. They are a non for profit organization that helps amputees get walking or running legs. These legs are an upgrade from the one I had. The blade runner’s leg is made from mostly titanium, plastic, gel, and carbon fiber. Again these materials are junk to most people, but for me they make an incredible leg. To other people this leg would sit in the closet or garage because it isn’t needed. To me this blade runner leg means everything to me.
The running blade is light and springy to run in. The walking leg is heavier and a little bit harder to lift. I like the look of both legs. They are cool black and silver colors. My running blade has a ½ cut shoe on it to help when I run. These legs help me run marathons and walk around places.
When I had my normal prosthetic from Shriner’s Hospital before I got the leg from Blade runners, I couldn’t play sports for very long. My thigh muscle was not able to be built up because of the leather corset wrapped around it. I could only last at sports for minutes at a time before I tire out. After I got my blade runner leg, I was able to do strengthening exercises and pool therapy exercises to walk and run in the new leg better. Now I am strong enough to run marathons.
My prosthetic leg is also a treasure to my family. They do not have to help me do chores, put on clothes, or do things around the house. When I have my prosthetic leg on, it helps me to be more independent. I like to be able to help my family.
My blade runner legs are not needed by most people, so they would probably be considered trash. My blade runner legs are really needed by me to walk, to run, and to be independent makes them my treasure.