Already during pregnancy, Jakub’s left leg did not develop well. The initiation of a rare disease, which in medicine is called proximal focal femoral deficiency, occurs precisely in the prenatal phase of life. It can be caused by congenital developmental defects or bacterial and viral infections. A person with this disease does not have a fully developed limb.
Smiling Jakub is missing part of his femur. In some cases, an implant can be inserted into the body, but Jakub Trefný failed to do so: “The doctors tried to lengthen and fix my leg, but unfortunately without success,” adds Jakub with a smile. From childhood he learned to live without a leg and not to take it as his handicap. “I haven’t experienced what it’s like to have a normal leg, so I can’t say what the difference is, walking with a bionic leg from a normal one,” Kuba laughs at the question that the Blesk Podcast host asked him before filming.
He replaced the prosthesis during his life more than five which had to be constantly changed for reasons of growth. In addition, the artificial legs were not ideal in the long term, because he developed a back disease – scoliosis. Compared to the previous ones, the current bionic leg is equipped with a computer that analyzes footfalls and more simulates the distribution of weight. This should keep the spine in a more natural position.
This special lower limb prosthesis stands 700 thousand crowns and Jakub was fully covered by the insurance company. He had to wait half a year for it to be made before he attached it to his leg. In the Czech Republic, less than 15 people have it and they can apply for it every 20 years. The bionic leg should last up to 30 years. Because of its huge price, he had it insured against theft.
Champion of the Czech Republic
Since childhood, his parents tried to ensure that he never fell out of the group of children. “They tried to teach me sports right away, which is definitely important for any disabled person. It’s a great motivation to overcome your disability and yourself,” says Jakub. His first sport was cycling. “Dad bought an old bicycle and taught me how to ride it, although I fell, but in the end I managed,” Jakub describes the beginning of his cycling career, in which he became the champion of the Czech Republic.
When he couldn’t run around the parks during the winter, he started running around the ice rink with a hockey helmet. Jakub headed to the hockey team Sparta Praha as a striker alongside other handicapped children. “It’s a really tough sport, because you sit on a sled and bounce with a tiny hockey stick. And fights and hard knocks were not an exception here either.” describes Cuba para hockey.
Today, Jakub runs through the school corridors more than on the ice rink. He does not see his leg as a handicap, but something that one has to learn to live with. “I have never experienced bullying and people have always taken me as part of the collective. But it always depends on the people around, how they take it. I have experience from all over the world and people in the Czech Republic have always responded well to me, they let me sit down and always try to help me,” answers Jakub Trefný.
In Blesk Podcast, Jakub Trefný confided in us how he struggles with ordinary activities, such as driving a car or traveling on public transport: