Kootenai Prosthetics & Orthotics

Amputees In Action


If a smile could end conflict, Rahim would win the Nobel Peace Prize. The effervescent amputee bounces around like a typical 11-year-old, constantly testing the rules and flashing his mischievous smile. Nearly three years ago, Rahim stepped on a land mine near his home in Afghanistan. The blast severed his left leg, ricocheted shrapnel into his body and severely punctured his eardrum. In spite of suffering intense pain, trauma and life-threatening injuries, Rahim has not lost his zest for life and adventure.
Thanks to a U.S.-based non-governmental agency, Solace for the Children, Rahim was chosen as a candidate for extensive medical rehabilitation. He and an interpreter were flown to North Idaho for care, staying in the home of Coeur d’Alene residents, Tony and Jill Ledford. The Ledford’s introduced him pizza and hamburgers, fishing, tubing and boating on the lake, the Oregon Coast and the warmth and friendliness of their own family, church, neighborhood and friends.

Numerous North Idaho health care professionals provided their services at no cost. Bob Miller at KPO fit Rahim with a new prosthetic leg, and sent him home with one extra to act as a backup in case he breaks the first one. Pediatrician Dr. Duane Craddock handled the initial evaluation and restored Rahim’s shattered eardrum; plastic surgeon Dr. Patrick Mullan removed painful scar tissue from Rahim’s intact leg; and dentist Dr. Zach Brumbach filled several cavities.

Rahim nicknamed Miller “Dr. Bob” and the two quickly developed a bond and their own language that included a lot of smiles and thumbs up.

“There’s a real strong spirit of wanting to help people here in North Idaho,” Miller said. “We’re all trying to give him the best care possible so he can run and play and be a kid.” Miller plans to continue working with Solace for the Children and hopes to treat more Afghan children in the future.
Rahim’s interpreter, Shekab, a 21-year-old from Kabul, was with him for most appointments, but Rahim was on his own at the Ledford home. Jill reported that he picked English up quickly, and by the time he went home to Afghanistan in August, he had a healthy body and positive knowledge of America that few children in that war-torn country share.

Other Amputees In Action

Don Bennett

Jack Lamb

Denzel Tucker

Dian Hanson

Ken Larson

Gary Wilson