Marathon bombing survivor helps boy get new prosthetic arm

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MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) — Monday, six-year-old Thompson Sledge showed off what he calls his new “robot arm.

Born without a left arm, Thompson recently got a new prosthetic arm and can now do a lot of things he couldn’t do before.

“I can ride a bike without training wheels,” Thompson said proudly.

Thompson got his arm thanks to Heather Abbott, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing five years ago. Abbott visited Thompson and his family at their home in Midtown Mobile. 

Abbott was able to get prostheses through a special fund for the bombing survivors, but most people can’t afford them and most insurance plans don’t cover them. That’s something Thompson’s parents found out.

“We just wanted to give him every opportunity that we could and so when he hit a certain age we decided to file through our insurance, which was very disappointing,” said Thompson’s mother Julia Sledge.

After fighting for two years with two different insurance companies, the Sledges were helped thanks to a prosthetic specialist in Chicago and Heather Abbott’s foundation. So far, Abbott has helped almost fifty people needing new limbs.

“Thompson’s a little boy and he should be able to do as many things as he’d like to do,” said Abbott. “If there’s a device out there to help him do those things we want him to have access to it.”

In addition to his “robot arm”, Thompson was also able to get a shorter arm for doing crucial exercises.

Thompson says he’s most looking forward to going fishing with his dad soon.

For more information go to heatherabbottfoundation.org



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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

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