TAMPA, Fla. — A three-year-old little girl is learning how to walk for the first time. Alexa Prieto lost her legs because of an infection but today she's receiving her own prosthetic legs thanks to the help of a local hospital.
Jacqueline Vidal shed tears of happiness at seeing her daughter one step closer to finally walking.
“It’s been a very difficult three years. It’s been very challenging for our family," said Vidal through a translator.
Alexa gets around on a wheelchair but she wasn't born without legs. At 3 months old she contracted an infection at a Cuban hospital and it quickly turned serious.
“She [Vidal] brings the little girl to the hospital for a simple intestinal problem and she returned with a little girl with no legs," said Armando Quirantes. He's the family's sponsor and President of No Boundaries Prosthetic Foundation. Quirantes helped bring the family to Florida from Cuba.
Thanks to him, Alexa is about to get her legs at Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa. The hospital is stepping in to make her new legs, provide surgery and physical therapy. Today Alexa is starting off with learning how to stand. It may seem simple and shaky but this is the first time Alexa has stood on her own. Standing must come before walking.
Her temporary legs will take some getting used to. After that comes her customized prosthetics.
“Her dream is to walk with her brother," said Vidal.
It’ll be a daunting task. Alexa will need new legs every year as she grows. But, after everything she’s been through, learning to walk won’t slow her down.