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Iraqi Boy Gets New Legs in America

  • Amy Katz

Ten-year old Majid Fadhil lost his legs to a bomb nearly a year ago - while he was walking home from school in Iraq. Now he is getting his life back on track - half way around the world - in the midwestern U.S. state of Ohio.

This is the moment Majid Fadhil has been dreaming of for nearly a year: his first steps since a roadside explosion blew away both his legs. His journey to America began in December. He left his parents and six brothers and sisters in Kut in southwestern Iraq for Kent, in northeastern Ohio -- and a very special family: Steve Sosebee, who arranged Majid's treatment through a charity he runs for Palestinian children - and his wife, Huda.

"He was so amazed to see the snow and the white everywhere. Every time we open the door, he starts to say, 'ohhh, it's so cold.' He starts to scream,” says Mrs. Huda.

An orthopedic surgeon volunteered to operate on Majid's legs. A prosthetics company donated his artificial legs.

Each one costs about $12,000. And though Majid shows lingering bad feelings about American soldiers from the Iraq war, Steve Sosebee says the boy is grateful to the Americans who are helping him now - and thrilled with his new legs.

"He's just adapted extremely well and that says a lot about his character and his personality. The idea of walking again, that's what he's here for, that's what everyday he's thinking about and dreaming about," says Steve.

Kevin Montini is one of the men helping Majid realize his dream. He says, "It's hard to put into words. The rewards I get emotionally are just immeasurable, they really are."

Majid faces a long road ahead - months of physical therapy to rebuild his strength and learn how to use his new legs. He may also need more surgery as his bones grow. For now, Majid is taking it one step at a time. By summer, he will return home on new legs.