Iowa Board of Regents

UI Bioengineering Students Help Congenital Amputee Ride His Bike

Eight-year-old Jonny Cole had a wish. Like most kids his age, he dreamed of riding his bike—a red motocross model with a Spiderman bell—around his Cedar Rapids, Iowa, neighborhood and on the bike path with his family.

But Jonny’s wish wasn’t as simple as it sounds. A congenital amputee, he was born without most of his right arm, the result of amniotic band syndrome, a rare birth defect caused when strands of tissue from the amniotic sac wrap around a baby’s finger, hand, arm, or leg, cutting off circulation and stunting development.

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