Little girl takes first steps

January 16, 2009 6:04:16 PM PST
A kindergartener is about to take the biggest step in her life. She's never walked because a premature birth affected her legs, but thanks to our "Action 13 Angels", the little girl is about to make great strides. At five years old, Amaya Boutte wants to walk but she can't. To get around in school or anywhere else, she has to crawl. That's because Amaya was a premie and her very premature birth affected her legs.

Amaya sees what her friends do and doesn't like being left behind.

"I want to walk like my classmates," said Amaya.

The family didn't have the money for medical care, so Amya's grandmother called the "Action 13 Angels."

"If there's some help up there, I pray to god she gets it," said Carol Holmes, Amaya's grandmother.

"If I ever saw my daughter walk, go out and play it would bring tears to my eyes. I've never seen her walk," said Amaya's mother, Fallon Boutte.

We turned to Houston Shriners Hospital for help.

"We're here to help the community and that's our greatest pleasure," said Shriners' CEO Steve Reiter.

Treatment is free at Shriners for any child up to 18 years old with bone, joint or muscle problems. The hospital doesn't even have a billing department.

As for Amaya, Dr. Doug Barnes put her in a kiddie walker to see how well she could move on her own. She did surprisingly well. Well enough to convince the doctors she could benefit from treatment there.

"She has what it takes to be more independent and off the walker," said Dr. Barnes, Shriners' Chief of Staff.

It's going to be a long haul for Amaya with leg casts, braces, therapy and surgery.

"We'll be seeing you. We're going to be friends. We're going to be seeing a lot of each other," said Dr. Barnes to Amaya.

"It's like my heart is beating real fast. I'm really excited just to see her walking and just to receive help. I'm excited about that," said Fallon Boutte.

Amaya's schoolmates are excited too, as she takes the biggest step in her life.

If you know a child who needs help from Shriners, you can call the hospital at 713-797-1616.

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