Girl with prosthetic leg has special connection to Winter the dolphin

Author: Claire Farrow, 10 Tampa Bay
Published On: 09/14/2021

A 13-year-old from Indiana has a special connection with Winter the dolphin, and they just got to meet. Ayden Wagler was gifted a unique opportunity back in October to meet the famed dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, according to WEHT. 

Wagler was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis and pseudarthrosis when she was a baby. "Neurofibromatosis is a rare condition found in one in every 3,000 children and causes tumors inside and outside the body. Five percent of neurofibromatosis patients also develop pseudarthrosis, a condition that causes spontaneous bone fractures," Riley Children's Foundation said.

Because of these medical conditions, when Wagler was three years old, one of her legs was amputated, WEHT said.  But Riley Children's says that significant surgery didn't keep Ayden down for long. 

“When she went through the amputation, she was bouncing on the trampoline a week later,” Ayden's mother Angie says. “She got me through that tough time. She is unstoppable.”

And that spirit is part of what connects her to Winter. They both share that unstoppable spirit, in addition to now using prosthetics. 

Read the full story and watch their interview here.

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