Not Born to Walk, but Ready to Run

From birth, Naif had hip, knee and ankle problems and had to use a wheelchair for mobility as he grew into childhood. Naif and his family traveled from Saudi Arabia to Johns Hopkins with one goal: to help him walk.

Although the Saudi embassy didn’t refer Naif to Johns Hopkins Medicine for treatment, his family didn’t want to leave the United States without seeing Paul Sponseller, chief of JHM’s Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics.

“From the beginning, I wanted to see Dr. Sponseller during my first visit to America,” says Naif’s father, Fayez. “He has an excellent reputation in Saudi Arabia.”

Dr. Sponseller and his team at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center — ranked #10 in the nation in orthopaedics by U.S. News & World Report

performed advanced reconstructive surgery and continue to provide physical therapy to spur Naif’s progress.

The boy still has some muscle weakness in his legs and challenges with coordination, but he continues to get stronger. Since being treated at Johns Hopkins, his goal has grown: Not only does he plan on walking on his own, he has his mind set on running, too.

Watch Naif’s story (you may need to use the subtitles).