Disabled girl receives new prosthetic leg in Istanbul

Disabled girl receives new prosthetic leg in Istanbul

ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency

A three-year-old girl with a missing left leg, whose father had hit headlines in May for trying to teach his daughter to walk with a makeshift home-made mechanism, has received a new prosthetic leg in an operation at an Istanbul hospital. 

Özge Yıldırım’s father İhsan Yıldırım, an impoverished aluminum worker in the southern province of Antalya, had created an aluminum contraption hung from the ceiling of their house to improve his daughter’s walking, as he could not afford physical therapy at a hospital.

After media reports in May, officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the family to pledge “moral and material support.”

Özge has been since learning to walk better in a rehabilitation center and at the Kepez State Hospital, helped by experienced physical therapists.    

After finding out that Özge needed a new prosthetic leg, Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel directed her two weeks ago to a hospital in Istanbul, where she has been since receiving a training on how to walk with her new prosthetic. 

The upgraded limb, which cost 14,000 Turkish Liras, will be able to support Özge until she reaches 35 kilograms in weight. 

Özge’s left leg was amputated when she was only 13 days old due to complications stemming from an alleged protein deficiency, according to the hospital. Her father later filed a criminal complaint against the hospital authorities that conducted the surgery, claiming that the operation was made necessary due to an incorrect injection.

Yıldırım told Doğan News Agency on Aug. 12 that there was so far no “progress” regarding his legal struggle. 

“We have all the necessary documents and evidence. But somehow we cannot progress legally. I cannot get an answer from any of the institutions on why my daughter’s leg was amputated. I believe that my daughter’s leg was amputated due to negligence,” he said.