FAIRFIELD, Ohio – Austin Osner’s only Christmas wish was to make more friends.
This weekend, the 10-year-old from Fairfield got his wish and more when he traveled almost 800 miles to Wichita, Kansas for a prosthetic arm, with which he returned home Monday afternoon.
“I’ve been wanting one for maybe a year, ever since I actually knew they existed,” Austin said.
Austin was born with amniotic band syndrome, so he’s never had a right hand or forearm.
Growing up missing a forearm, Austin has had to deal with bullies at school. He’s had to transfer from three schools before his parents decided to homeschool him.
“It hurts, and it breaks your heart as a parent,” Austin’s mom, Kristin McGinn, said. “But at the same time, you have to be the strong one, so I can’t let him see me break down, because that’s going to amplify his emotions.”
Matt Amos, a veteran and double amputee with Peeples Prosthetics, heard about Austin’s wish to make some friends. They contacted Austin’s family to see if he wanted a free prosthetic arm.
“I couldn’t even think after I got the news,” Austin said. “I just went to another room and almost just fainted because of how excited I was.”
Austin and the team at Peeples spread the word and soon they had several donations for Austin, including a free flight down on a private plane, a hotel, rental car, meals and even tickets to the Kansas State basketball game. But Austin said his favorite part is the arm.
He’ll be leaving Wichita not just with a new arm, but also with a brand new group of friends who plan to stay in touch.
Ben Jordan of KAKE Wichita contributed to this report.