BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A little boy born with a club hand is being given the greatest gift of all; the opportunity to lead a normal life.
16-month-old Kacper and his family came all the way from Poland to stay in Baltimore at Sinai Hospital while their son's life is changed, they believe, for the better.
Dominik Eljasinski, Kacper's dad said just days before Christmas, "this is the best gift in my whole entire life." This will be the first Christmas Kacper can play with toys like other kids.
Kacper was born in June of 2020 and his family saw the club hand and soon realized his thumb on that hand did not work. They were told by Polish doctors there was nothing they could do that would permanently fix the problem. The family did their own research and found the specialists at the Rubin Institute of Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital.
They had to raise thousands of dollars on their own as insurance did not cover the surgeries or travel.
This August, when Kacper was 14-months-old, he had surgery in Baltimore to fix the club hand and another one to create a fully-functioning thumb. That hand now only has 4 fingers, but they are four fingers that work.
Dr. Shawn Standard, Head of Pediatric Orthopedics at Rubin Institute of Advanced Orthopedics said Kacper's limb deformity is rare-only about 1 in 100,000 cases. Because the hospital specializes in these kinds of surgeries they treat about 20 a year.
"A special technique that we use called 'Ulnarization,' really works good for radial dysplasia and puts the hand in the right position and there are minimal reoccurrences," Standard said.
As Dominik Eljasinski watched his son play he said, "What can I say? Look at the small boy! My heart is full. I'm just very happy to be here because now my son will live a normal life with no limitations."
"Children just want to run, jump, play, love and be loved," Standard said.
Kacper has to wear a cast and has physical and occupational therapy for a few more months, but soon Kacper will be home in Poland living a normal life. This trip will be one he never remembers, but his parents will never forget.
"Seeing the future with hope now. His hand will not go back and he will live normal, just a little bit of a different hand with four fingers, but no limitations. He'll live normal."
Kacper may need another surgery in about 9 years once his arm has grown.
for more features.