23 April 2009



Hasaan Hawthorne's take on living as an amputee surprises a lot of people.

Hasaan was born without shins, a condition called tibial hemimelia.

His parents, Demond and Felecia Hawthorne, reeled from the medical choices for their day-old son.

The main options: Allow Hasaan's legs and feet to grow, knowing he would require a wheelchair, or amputate his feet and legs through the knees.

Amputation would let him sit at a school desk and walk with prosthetics.

At 4 months old, Hasaan had the surgery. As a youngster, he moved around using Tonka trucks and push cars.

Hasaan got his first prosthetic legs at 14 months, and it wasn't long before his athletic side began to emerge, particularly in baseball -- a shock to his football-loving father.

By 4, Hasaan was running.

At 5, Hasaan said he wanted to try out for baseball, first through the YMCA and then with Pelham Youth Baseball.

Hasaan could balance while batting and fielding, earning him spots playing first base and third base. He even helps his younger brother, Chase.

Hasaan's athleticism often breaks the walking legs, requiring weeks for repairs.

In 2007, Hasaan qualified for a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation for a set of curved running legs. The legs, which cost tens of thousands of dollars, increased his speed and improved his baseball skills.

Mother, father and son have all overheard adults and children making fun of Hasaan with names like Robokid or wild stories about train accidents taking his legs.

Hasaan is now contemplating football or wrestling.

Hasaan confidently plans to be the first above-the-knee double amputee to play college baseball, then play for the New York Yankees, like Derek Jeter. He expects to own a Corvette and retire from sports as an orthodontist.

Click on picture for the full report.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow that's an awesome story, and it's comforting to know that the kid keeps such high spirits still.

I can see how those legs will help him, they give him a better stride that the average person. That would give him pretty good range in the outfield.

Either way, good luck to the kid. Nice post.

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