Walking the dream

2009-12-17 00:00

NINE-year-old Mpho Maduwane is precocious, lively and, like any other girl, she loves her new pink-and-white Puma shoes.

She received the shoes on Tuesday along with her second pair of prosthetic feet.

“They look nice on me, don’t they?” Mpho, who was born without lower legs and forearms, asked confidently when she received her new artificial feet at Icexpress.

With the help of Icexpress at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria — the same company that manufactured prosthetics for Paralympic stars Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit — Mpho received her first set of legs in November last year.

Meanwhile, she’s slowly been learning to walk for the first time.

Now little Mpho from KwaThema, outside Springs on the East Rand, just wants to learn how to run with her new prosthetic feet, which are three centimetres larger than her previous set.

“I want to run as fast as Oscar Pistorius,” said Mpho with a big smile on Tuesday.

Mpho, a pupil at the Muriel Brand School in Brakpan, arrived at Icexpress in her wheelchair on Tuesday, but walked away, somewhat unsteadily, on her new set of feet.

“These feet will fit me better because I’m growing and I’ll be able to walk better with them,” said Mpho.

Mpho is excited about going shopping for new shoes with her mother.

“Being able to walk is the thing I like most of all, and I can’t wait to go shopping for shoes for my new feet.”

Since Mpho is still growing, her prostheses are replaced regularly.

Johan Snyders, chief executive officer of Icexpress, said Mpho also received new knees.

“Her new knees make the walking process easier, but she still needs a lot of practice to be able to walk properly with them,” said Snyders.

“Because Mpho is getting bigger and taller, she needs bigger feet to help with her balance. She won’t fall over so much any more,” said Snyders.

Mpho recently broke her right arm because she lost her balance, but it has recovered fully.

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