A Christmas Wish Granted
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  1. #1
    Squad Leader Platinum Member Zulu 36's Avatar
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    A Christmas Wish Granted

    I am the Assistant Cubmaster for a Pack in the town near where I live. I just got off the phone with one of my Wolf Scouts (a 2d Grader). He was born with a defect in the bones of his lower right leg. Despite many surgeries, braces, pins, screws, walkers, crutches, casts, and more, his leg would never be "normal." It would still break at the slightest cause.

    Being an otherwise normal little boy, Brandon does not let a bum leg slow him down - at all. His parents, the adult leaders, and even other Scouts, spent a lot of time trying to keep him reined in a little to avoid damaging his leg further. Rather a futile effort, I might add.

    Since he joined the Pack as a 1st Grader, Brandon has been pestering his parents and doctors to amputate his leg. He was tired of the pain, the surgeries, and the inability to keep up with other boys 100% (although he tried like hell).

    I have never seen Brandon cry except once when his little sister fell on his leg and broke it during his first Cub Scout camping trip, just before the evening campfire. He was upset, not because of the pain, but that he wouldn't be able to take his place in a skit at the campfire program. His parents let him stay, his skit was placed first on the list, he did his role, and off he went to the hospital.

    This year, his mother took him to see Santa just after Thanksgiving. When asked what he wanted for Christmas, Brandon told Santa he wanted his leg amputated and (in his words) a "fake new leg" so he could play all he wanted. Needless to say, the store Santa was a bit taken aback at that one.

    His mother spoke with his doctors, who agreed there was nothing else left to try but amputation and a prosthesis.

    Brandon got his Christmas wish last Wednesday. He came out of surgery at 1100, woke up in post-op about noon, at 1300 he was pestering to be allowed to go play with the other kids on the floor. Knowing Brandon would try to do it anyway when no one was looking, they strapped him into a wheelchair and took him to go play about 1500.

    When I spoke with him today (he's home now), he was over the top with happiness. Other than a bothersome "ghost itch" where his toes used to be, he is on top of the world. He goes for his first prosthesis fitting on January 8th and can't wait.

    He intends to be at the first Pack meeting for 2008 on the 7th and promises to sit still at this meeting because, "I'm a little off-balance and I haven't gotten used to it yet." I'm not going to bet the farm on his sitting still.

    Brandon is a tough little kid. How many adults would be up and about playing within a few hours of having a leg whacked off? He has more guts than some Marines I've known.

    His one concern? "What am I going to do with all of the right shoes I have?" I suggested he keep them to put on his prosthesis so everything matched. "Oh, yeah. I didn't think about that."

    BTW: Santa will be bringing more "traditional" gifts for Brandon tonight too.

    I just felt the need to share this story about one of all the wonderful kids I have in our Pack.


  2. #2
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    GIVE THAT YOUNG MAN A MEDAL,HE WILL PROBABLY END UP AN EAGLE SCOUT!!!GODBLESS THE COURAGEOUS LITTLE MAN


  3. #3
    Marine Free Member GySgtRet's Avatar
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    Zulu 36

    Please give this little guy a hug from a Gunny. He has a lot of guts and fortitude. And I can't believe he is so tough. Maybe, if the parents agree he can be made an honarary Marine.

    Semper Fi

    Merry Christmas


  4. #4
    Squad Leader Platinum Member Zulu 36's Avatar
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    Yeah, Brandon is a unique little kid.

    He's doing quite well for "traditional" gifts. His fellow Scouts and leaders took care of some of those gifts, and Brandon's family took care of the rest. He has a rather large extended family, so he is making out like a bandit. The Pack got a couple of extra gifts for his little sister (a really cute four-year old), so she didn't feel left out. Cub Scouting is a family affair, so she is part of the Pack too.

    Believe me, if Brandon didn't get another thing, he would be content with the amputation and prosthesis. The only thing that disappointed him was not being allowed to stay awake and watch the operation (like it was getting stitches on a cut hand or something).

    As far as hugs are concerned, Brandon is famous (dangerous) for his hugs. Actually, they're more like football tackles. It's amazing how much momentum that kid could get on 1-1/2 legs. He'll hit harder once he gets his prosthesis.

    I'll pass a few on hugs on to him.

    Merry Christmas to all.


  5. #5
    Marine Free Member Wyoming's Avatar
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    .

    Yo Chris, is the Shriners Hospital working on, or aware of this brave lad?

    There is a Shriners Hospital in Tampa.


    Also, I like the Honorary Marine bit.


  6. #6
    I can't find an area on this site just to say Happy Holidays to all Marines, past present and future! Pas it on all over this site!
    God Bless and...
    Semper Fi!
    Jim Stamm


  7. #7
    Marine Free Member Marine84's Avatar
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    DAYAM! WOW! To be so young and that BIG - I wouldn't be able to handle that at 46. What an awesome kid!


  8. #8
    He is definitely is brave and wise beyond his years. I expect he will be an Eagle Scout if he sticks with Scouting. I say a prayer and request that he continues to receive God's favor.

    Once an Eagle Scout, Always an Eagle Scout! (Eagle Class of 1966)


  9. #9
    Squad Leader Platinum Member Zulu 36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalholmes165
    .

    Yo Chris, is the Shriners Hospital working on, or aware of this brave lad?

    There is a Shriners Hospital in Tampa.


    Also, I like the Honorary Marine bit.

    Yes, he had his surgery at the Shriner's in Tampa. They're also doing his prosthesis.

    I'm not too certain about the Honorary Marine thing. Brandon is certainly deserving, in my opinion, but our Pack has a few other kids who have surmounted some tough times in their lives. Perhaps not quite like Brandon's circumstances, but tough all the same.

    I would hate to excessively single Brandon out. The other kids had their recognitions and gifts in their time, but Brandon doesn't consider himself "special." He thinks and acts like the otherwise normal seven-year old boy he is, just a bit gimpy. He plans on losing the gimpy part as soon as he can.


  10. #10
    Phantom Blooper
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    A true Tiny Tim at Christmas time,"God Bless Us,Each and Every One!"






  11. #11
    yellowwing
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    I like this kid! Natural guts and determination. Honorary Marine would be perfect.


  12. #12
    Marine Family Free Member
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    Just read this post now. What a marvelous story regarding an exceptionally brave and gutsy young man. Prothesis development has come a long way and I am sure that the one that they are going to fit Brandon with will be just right for all of the challenges he will be facing.
    Zulu 36, have you ever thought of introducing him to fellow Marines or veterans who use prothesis?
    Please pass on best wishes to one and all. Thank you a most inspiring story.
    Merry Christmas.


  13. #13
    Squad Leader Platinum Member Zulu 36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osotogary
    J

    Zulu 36, have you ever thought of introducing him to fellow Marines or veterans who use prothesis?
    I thought about that, except who would be helping who? I don't think Brandon will have any problem adjusting emotionally to the loss of his lower leg. It has essentially been lost to him for years anyway.

    He'd be of more use visiting Iraq/Afghan War vets with prosthesis, I think, where the sudden limb loss is still rather traumatic in more ways than one. Nothing like watching a seven-year old with a fake leg bouncing off every surface in the room to cheer you up, eh?

    We live 1-1/2 hours drive from the VA hospital in Gainesville, which has a nursing home facility as well. My ex works in nursing services at the hospital. Maybe she'll decide to speak civilly with me and work something out.

    That will be a trip for summer perhaps, after Brandon gets his prosthesis and gets used to it. Maybe we'll bring a bunch of the other Scouts too. Good lesson for the kids on the price of freedom.

    Around town, I do not know any veterans who wear prosthesis (but I'm not a member of the local vets organizations - I'm still registered at posts in the Detroit area). There is one man, a businessman and fern farmer, rather prominent in the community, who lost both of his forearms in a farming accident many years ago. He wears hook-type prostheses on both arms. Brandon has met him several times as the man is an elder at the church our Pack is chartered with.


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