Since we first told you about him, our 7-year-old hero has moved the story forward- the story, and himself.
Edward Tindall’s recovery — once tentative when the Lighthouse Charter School student took his first steps after the deadly bus crash back in March – is now full of vigor and confidence. The strides come faster, and the steps more sure.
Nikita Edwards is there pushing and supporting like only a mother can.
“Nobody’s going to take care of him like I do, so he’s got to be able to do it when he’s not with me,” Nikita said.
For the last two months, Edward has been learning how to walk with a prosthetic leg. He was fitted for it after losing his leg below the knee in the crash on the way to school back in March. It’s a a crash we now know was caused by a heart attack suffered by the driver, Thomas Spencer, who died in the impact, along with a kindergartener sitting behind him right next to Edward. But the prosthesis he has now is only temporary. Soon it will come off and be replaced with a lighter, more permanent leg. And that’s making Edward very happy.
“It’ll mean a lot to him, the temporary one looks like a mechanical leg, the permanent prosthetic will have skin that will match his other leg color, look more realistic, make him feel more comfortable,” Nikita said.
To get there, Edward has come to Advanced OrthoPro Inc. and a bond has developed.
“He’s a very nice kid, I’ve been working with a lot of kids, and he’s one of the nicest,” said Mike Mansoori of Advanced OrthoPro Inc.
That bond has been important because of the element of trust. And that trust has been there between Edward and his new friends, Mike and nephew Keon, orthotist and prosthetists at AOI.
The minute they start, the fear of standing,” Mansoori said, “that’s their challenge in the beginning.’
“They’re worried they’re going to stand and fall, maybe embarrassment,” added Keon Mansoori, another prosthetist and orthotist at AOI. “But once it’s under them and they’re going to do well, they’re off to the races.”
The race has been made easier by a few things working in Edward’s favor: his age, the placement of the amputation below the knee and his attitude.
“He’s got such a great personality, you could pretty much get him to try anything because he’s willing to try it,” Keon said.
“One below the knee amputee, usually they’re able to do everything themselves,” Mike added. “He’s a kid, he should be able to jump and play and run around in the future, hopefully.”
To transition from his temporary to permanent prosthetic leg, Edward is going through what’s known as a gait analysis system. The Mansoori’s are looking at his cadence to determine how his new leg should function.
“Weight, pressure, distance of step, time it takes from one step to the next, lot of detail,” Keon said.
It’ll be done again once the cast is removed from his other leg which is still healing from several broken bones. There’s measuring and then molding. For now, everything is falling into place.
“I think with kids seeing them running and playing with their friends and not knowing which one has got a prosthetic limb, I think that’s how you know you succeeded,” Keon said.
For a mother who’s been focused on the recovery and not the tragedy, each of Edward’s steps represents a leap ahead to a boundless future.
“I always say we get the good with the bad, but lately the good has far outweighed the bad,” Nikita said.
It will be another two weeks before Edward’s permanent prosthetic limb is ready. While he missed out on baseball season this year, his mom believes he’ll be back on the diamond next year.
A trust fund has been set up to cover Edward’s medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. Donations can be made at any Key Bank branch under the Edward Tindall, Jr. Trust Fund.