Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) is a rare condition characterized by amniotic fluid forming into bands, wrapping around a baby’s extremities and cutting off circulation. In Malachi Knauff’s case, the ABS was so severe that his left arm below the elbow was ampu- tated in utero. Fortunately, following his birth, he was referred to Shriners Hospitals for Children—Erie.
Baseball and Beyond
Knauff visited Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie on a regular basis, receiving treatment from the physicians, rehabilitation from the occupational therapists and overall support from the nurses and other staff members.
By the time he was 5 years old, Knauff dreamed of playing baseball through high school. Knauff fondly re- members learning how to swing a bat by using the state-of -the-art equipment provided by the Erie Medical Center. He also learned how to shoot a basketball and, eventually, to drive.
Throughout his 18 years of treatment, Knauff was fitted for custom-designed prosthetics by the skilled, pro- fessional staff. When it was time to decide about his future, Knauff chose to become a certified prosthetist and ortho- tist (CPO). He spends his days designing and fitting devices for people with missing limbs or with other medical limita- tions. He creates artificial limbs, braces and other medical and surgical products.
“Coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children through my childhood inspired me to give back by becoming a CPO,” Knauff said. “It allows me to help others as others helped me through a difficult time in my life.”
Now married and living in Colorado, Knauff has come a long way and credits much of his success to the physicians, nurses, therapists and staff at Shriners Hospitals for Chil- dren—Erie.