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Teenage boy anxiously awaits double amputation

Imagine being a patient, a spouse or a parent in a hospital room. The doctor walks through the door and begins discussing the situation. The medical dialogue includes the word “amputation.” For most people, this experience would be terrifying. A parent may worry about a child’s future; a spouse may worry about lost income; and what about the patient?

For one 13-year-old patient, a doctor’s confirmation that an amputation was in the treatment plan was some of the best news he had heard in a while. This patient was born with an illness called arthrogryposis. Life with this rare disorder includes muscle weakness, painful joint issues and even fibrosis — the accumulation of excess fibrous tissue.

As a budding teenager, this boy is no different from others. His loves to play basketball with his friends, go swimming, throw a bowling ball down the lane and hit the perfect shot on a par 4. What sets him apart from his friends is that his disorder makes him unable to keep up.

“Sometimes, I just had to sit out and watch them,” the teen said. The pain in his feet would prevent him from participating for longer than a few minutes. Amputation wasn’t the first course of action suggested, but the four surgeries in his past did little to reduce and certainly didn’t eliminate the pain. Now, voluntary double amputation is the solution that he wants the most. “Now I don’t have to have any more feet pain,” he simply stated.

This type of disorder and an amputation are two types of impairments that may qualify an individual for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. Could a voluntary procedure affect a disability claim?

For answers to questions such as this one or for help after a denial of benefits, a Saint Louis Social Security Disability attorney can help evaluate a situation, file a claim or work on an appeal with effective advocacy.

Source: WWLP, “Teen chooses amputation,” Alex Cabrero, Sept. 9, 2013

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