4-year-old girl receives life changing 'blade' prosthetic leg, matching doll ahead of birthday

Heather Williams lost her leg at 3-months-old due heart condition treatment complication
MUNSTER, Ind. (WLS) -- An early birthday present for a soon-to-be 5-year-old Indiana girl may be a life-changer.

She's just received a new prosthetic leg that promises to keep up with her.

Heather Williams now has a fitted "blade" prosthetic, which she hopes will help her meet the challenge of keeping up with her twin sister and older brothers.

The artificial leg is a monumental leap for a child who lost her limb at three months due to complications from treatment for a heart condition.

"Her siblings call it call her 'spirit leg,' and I think it's wonderful and it makes her feel good to have this beautiful thing," said Williams' mother, Rachel Washington.

Washington watched the third of her four kids struggle at times with a heavier, older type of prosthetic. The new carbon fiber blade is lighter, stronger and can be re-attached to larger sockets twice a year as Williams grows.

"When she is running, she is pushing down on it and it basically gives it the bounce so the energy is stored and released when she is taking off," said Dr. Vikram Choudhary.

Prosthetics these days have become a vehicle for mobility and mental health through self-expression, as detailed in models the doctor is working on for other patients.

That's where the doll's identical blade comes in.

"She feels she's not lacking something," Dr. Dr. Vikram Choudhary said, "all the other kids have the dolls that have legs...psychologically it helps a lot."

A chance encounter with a therapist in Indianapolis led this Hammond mother to the Bionic clinic, which is a lot closer to home. There, they can customization synthesizes medicine, art and mental health.

"If they're scared to climb up monkey bars, Heather is not. Heather has to prove she can do it and she does," Washington said.

Williams' mother said the key to overcoming tragedy was focusing on her child and not her own pain. She said the doll will help Heather do the same.

As for that heart problem that led to the amputation, it turned out to be nothing.

Williams' and her twin sister will turn 5-years-old on June 22.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.