MOBILE, Ala (WALA) – Six-year-old Thompson Sledge is riding a bike all by himself for the first time.
“We were proud of you weren't we,” his Dad said. “You just got on that thing and just started going.”
For the longest time this was not possible.
“The first time I rode my bike by myself I balanced,” Thompson said.
Thompson was born without a left arm.
“He has kind of amazed everybody especially us just what he can do with one arm,” said Julia Sledge, his mom.
To help make sure the active Mobile first grader can be himself, Heather Abbott and her foundation stepped up to give Thompson a prosthetic arm designed for high activity use.
“Thompson's a little boy and he should be able to do as many things as he would like to do,” Abbott said. Abbott created her foundation after she had part of her leg amputated. She was hurt when two bombs exploded at the 2013 finish line of the Boston Marathon.
So far, Abbott has helped about 50 people.
“I know what it's like to want to be able to do things and not have access to funds or insurance to be able to get the devices you need to get,” Abbott said.
A six-year-old kid getting a chance to be himself.
“I wanted an Iron Man arm,” Thompson said.
He is holding on tight as he takes a ride.
Thompson just starting to take full advantage of his new arm.
Hoping one day to use it to go fishing with dad.
“We're still kind of getting used to it, but it’s been a fun tool, a fun toy for him,” Julia said. “He has learned to ride his bike without his training wheels which was one of our bigger accomplishments that we've had all summer.”
At some point Thompson will have to get another prosthetic arm when he out grows this one, but for now his parents are just happy some barriers have been removed from Thompson’s life.