A Provo High senior recently received a new prosthetic leg from Shriners Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, the first of its kind to be used at the hospital, according to the family.
After months of appointments and fittings, Nicole Davis was given her new artificial limb -- a Unity Sleeveless Vacuum by Össur -- on Monday.
Born with defects caused by amniotic band syndrome, Davis has only eight fingers and wears a prosthetic leg below her right knee.
The new prosthetic leg is designed to improve socket fit, reduce fluctuations and enhance suspension, among other things. Known as an elevated vacuum system, it has a pump in the foot that sucks air out of the socket each time she takes a step. Doing so creates a vacuum, making a tighter, more comfortable seal.
It’s an upgrade from prosthetics she has had in the past, including ones that required an uncomfortable strap or that would periodically lose pressure and fall off, she said.
“The Shriners staff are amazing,” she said. “They have always listened and made sure my opinion was taken into account.”
A miracle baby, Davis was born 11 weeks early weighing only 2 lbs 8 ounces.
“My dad’s wedding ring could fit around my wrist,” she said.
Doctors were unsure she’d make it through the night, let alone be walking a little more than a year later, Davis said. But she was.
Around her first birthday, Davis was already pulling herself up and hopping along furniture. Because of that, her parents asked doctors to make her a prosthetic leg.
“The second they put it on me I ran out the door,” she said.
With a variety of artificial legs she’s had over the years, Davis has played soccer, basketball and ran multiple 5Ks. She credits her parents to helping her never let anything get in the way of her goals.
Davis’ friends describe her as outgoing, optimistic and inclusive; she’s always the one to include others, said Talia Adams, 17, who is also a senior at Provo High.
A childhood friend, Adams has watched Davis adjust and excel with each new prosthetic leg she’s received over the years.
“She doesn’t let anything hold her back,” Adams said.
Davis plays the ukulele, loves Harry Potter and hopes to study paleontology someday.