CHANDLER, IN (WFIE) - A pair of sisters channeled their passion for drawing to create a permanent and daily reminder of their bond in the form of 12-year-old Hannah Murphy’s prosthetic leg.
Hannah and Jordan Murphy are 8 years apart, but when it comes to their passions for drawing and cartoons, the sisters couldn’t be closer.
“She inspires me to be myself. I think I inspire her to be a good artist. [I] basically encourage her to do something that she loves to do and make sure I’m always there for her when she needs me", Jordan Murphy, Hannah’s sister, said.
Now a piece of Jordan will always be with Hannah every step she takes.
“I was surfing on the internet, as usual and see all these cool designs and I’m like man I wish these could be on my leg. She [Jordan] drew them and I colored them and we sent them to Tom," Hannah explained.
“Then later came this lovely masterpiece!” Jordan exclaimed rolling up Hannah’s leggings to reveal her pink and purple prosthetic.
Tom Whitehurst, of Riverside Orthotics & Prosthetics, has been making prosthetics for Hannah since she was a baby. Hannah had meningitis when she was 10 months old and was in the Pediatric ICU for 2 months fighting for her life.
She survived but lost her leg and most of her fingertips in the process.
When Hannah told Tom of her idea, he immediately was on-board.
“She kinda got tired of the little designs that we were offering and so she just asked if she could design one and I just said yes 'cuz i figured there’s gotta be a way," Whitehurst said.
According to Whitehurst, Hannah is the first patient in his 30 years of practice to personally draw and design her own prosthetic.
“It individualized it. It’s got her name, little characters that mean something to her on it. It never really came to my mind to design your own,” he said.
Whitehurst said some people choose to have a design on their prosthetic, but he had never heard of someone designing their own.
“Since she made it, it’s going to be more special to her when she’s wearing it. I think she’s gonna have more pride wearing that in front of all the other kids, showing it’s something that she did,” Whitehurst said.
Hannah said her classmates at Boonville Middle School have always been supportive. She even asked them for color suggestions before deciding on purple.
“I put my leg on. I put my glasses on. I change my clothes, do hygiene stuff, then leave for school," Hannah said.
Hannah takes on each day step by step with a good attitude and a smile.
The only difference, she just has to put her leg on first.