Artamus basketball

Jun 15, 2021 / Limb Lengthening

Share Your Story: Let Your Light Shine

Meet Artamus, a patient that was seen by our Limb Lengthening experts. Learn more about his journey below.

Blog written by Artamus. 
We all have a light within us that shines bright. My name is Artamus, and I am different from other people. Growing up, I did not notice my leg difference because I could always do the same things as everyone else. I wore a lift on one of my shoes so I wouldn’t limp when I walked, and this also made my legs the same length. I can remember going to the store and people would stare at me because of my special shoe. I would hide behind my mom, so people would not look at my shoes and notice that one was taller than the other.

My mom would always tell me that I am unique and was not created to be like everyone else.  

Being on the school track team gave me an opportunity to do what I love – run track. Running track made me feel both excited and nervous. I would usually worry that people might notice my leg difference, but when I was on the track, I left all of that behind me. I felt like I was the king of the track and gave it my all with every race. I won many medals for my races and was always determined to not let anyone, or anything, take away my joy of running. 

Once, I remember being at school, and one of my classmates started to make fun of me. At first I was sad, but then I could hear my mom’s voice inside my head saying, “You are unique, you are worthy, you matter, you are intelligent and you can do anything that you set your mind to.” Her words always helped me to feel better. She would also tell me that sometimes people stare at things they don’t understand. I started to take it as my job to help educate people and started to explain why one of my shoes looked different and why my legs were different lengths. 

When I began to tell my story and embrace my leg difference, I noticed that people loved to ask questions and learn new things. I even found that I was educating grown-ups about my condition! When it came time for me to have my surgery, my mom thought it was important for me to be a part of the process, and I learned all about every detail. After I had my surgery, my family even called me “The Bionic Man!”

I believe that God choose this path for me, and I know he has bigger plans for me. I want to encourage everyone that has a difference to embrace it – you are one-of-a-kind and the world needs you!   

Blog written by Artamus's mom, Rashonda. 
When Artamus was 5-months old, he developed a fever that would not go away. After several visits to the pediatrician and even the hospital, we were told he was simply teething or just had a virus. As a surgical tech, I knew all of the signs and symptoms of infection. He displayed none of these, yet I just knew there was something else going on. 

As days passed, Artamus stopped eating and became very dehydrated. I took him to the ER, where we were again told that he had a virus. With the discharge papers in my hand, I begin to cry and begged the nurse to at least give my baby some fluids. After an agonizing process, we were finally able to get some fluids in him. We soon found out that Artamus had a horrible infection in his knee, was septic and was immediately rushed into surgery. Those are still the longest four hours of my life. Following his initial surgery, he was transferred to another hospital for additional surgeries, until the infection was completely gone. 

Our first visit to Scottish Rite for Children was seven years after Artamus had his first life-saving surgery. As a result of the infection he had as a baby, his legs were not the same length. I can still remember how everyone greeted us with a smile that first time we walked in the doors. From the security guards to the registration desk, you could feel warmth from everyone you passed. The bright vibrant colors on the walls, the huge fish tanks and even sports memorabilia around the clinic, I just knew that we were in the right place. 

Dr. Podeszwa and his team assured us that Artamus would be taken care of at Scottish Rite. At every one of his appointments, I would come prepared with a list of questions, and Dr. Podeszwa and Nurse Emily always answered every single one of them. When it came time for Artamus to have his limb-lengthening surgery, Emily even became part of my mom support system. She would reach out with words of encouragement, and no matter the question or concern I had, she always took the time to check on us. 

Everyone that we worked with at Scottish Rite was amazing. The wonderful psychologists would call to make sure I was taking care of myself, throughout his healing process. His physical therapist Megan has been a life saver. She challenged Artamus in every way possible to help him regain his strength. Her encouragement meant the world to us. Whenever she would give him new exercises or challenges, Artamus would work extra hard on them so he could make Megan proud during the next visit. He would work twice as hard for Megan than what he would do at home. Mrs. Brittany touched my heart in so many ways when she reached out about doing a photo shoot with Atamus and made my child feel like a celebrity! We were also given the opportunity to speak with other families and have been able to share our experience of having a leg lengthening surgery.

Dr. Podeszwa and his team will forever be a part of our family.

He helped to give Artamus back his childhood. I encourage you to let your light shine from within! 



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