Hometown Heroes: Shriners Hospital helps 9-year-old receive new prosthetic leg

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield is being recognized for their work with kids fitting them with the prosthetics they need as they continue to grow. 22News introduces you to a little boy trying out his new bladerunner.

Nine-year-old Luke Dewitt has been coming to Shriners Hospital for Children all his life, growing into and out of all different types of legs. However, this is the first time he has been fitted with a bladerunner.

“It’s very nice. I can run a lot faster and jump higher,” said Luke.

Brock McConkey is the Manager of Orthotics and Prosthetics at Shriners and his team of specialists has been with the Dewitt family every step of the way.

“Kids come in and we listen to them. We take all of that information and we try to find a foot that is the most efficient for him. He came in and was like ‘I want to get back to playing baseball, I want to run,’ and so we were able to make this happen for him. And he gets to custom design the outer color of the socket and everything is made right here in the lab,” said McConkey.

“You get up every morning. Happy to come in and go home to share our stories that we change people’s lives every day. It’s one of the most satisfying things that you could experience.”

Dr. McConkey

“This place is so incredible to work with. They have made quality of life not only for my son but for my family amazingly and they do it with a smile and it’s awesome. It’s a gift it, really is a gift,” said Luke’s dad, Carl Dewitt.

“It really is, that’s what the Shriners is all about, getting kids to do that every day. That’s why we love to come to work and work as a team and make these moments happen. It never gets old. You can see the smile on his face and who doesn’t love seeing that,” said McConkey.

“You knocked it out of the park, it’s perfect. We can’t thank you enough.” – Dewitt family

A grateful family that now has Luke on the run.

The American Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts is holding their 19th annual Heroes Celebration, right here on 22News at 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

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