By Sophie Norris
A proud mum captured the moment her ‘miracle’ toddler son with one leg tackled a flight of stairs for the first time.
Leeza Bobakov, 27, jumped for joy when 19-month-old Lucas Bobakov hauled himself up nine stairs with just his right leg.
But Lucas didn’t seem too bothered by the cheering crowd below him, casting them a bemused glance before crawling off down the corridor.
In the video, Lucas takes it upon himself to climb the stairs with his proud dad Dennis Bobakov, 29, standing behind him.
Following complications in the womb, caused by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, Lucas had his left leg amputated at just three weeks old.
Leeza, 27, has spoken of how her ‘incredible’ son’s progress helps her overcome the ‘overwhelming grief’ of his diagnosis.
Leeza from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, US, said: “I was so unbelievably happy and bursting with pride that Lucas just got straight to it and climbed the stairs entirely by himself.
“To see our baby, who only has one leg, doing things that other healthy babies his age wouldn’t do is nothing short of a miracle. He’s a big strong boy.
“We were recently at our cousin’s house in Southampton [Pennsylvania] and he just started climbing up the stairs.
“We don’t have stairs as we live in an apartment, but he completely bossed them. I was on pins, but he did it.
“The only problem was he couldn’t work out how to get himself down again, so Dennis had to help him.
“The fact he can climb up stairs and is now learning to walk with his prosthetics is incredible and so exciting. I love that my son has a sense of determination and drive.
“I know that this is just making him stronger.”
While Lucas and his twin brother Peter were in the womb Leeza’ placenta ruptured, causing her boys to suffer twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.
Too much blood was transferred to Lucas, causing a clot in his leg and leading to its amputation when he was just three weeks old.
Meanwhile Peter, who suffered a lack of blood supply, was born deaf.
They were born via emergency C-section at 30 weeks after doctors told Leeza to prepare for her babies to die in the womb or shortly after birth.
Leeza said: “No mother wants to hear ‘we are doing everything we can but your son is critical’.
“I can’t even describe the overwhelming grief trying to prepare your heart for the worst.
“My placenta ruptured at 30 weeks and all the blood went into Lucas causing him to have a massive blood clot in his left leg. It was because of this that we needed to amputate.
“Peter was left with no blood and as a result is completely deaf.
“Lucas spent three months in hospital after being born and was given a short amputation leaving him with only 20 per cent of his femur.
“Truly there is not a day that goes by that I’m not giving thanks to God that my boys are alive. I don’t take a single day for granted.
“They are my survivors, my little bionic boys.”
Despite the complications before his birth in October 2016, Lucas has cleared all his development milestones ahead of time.
At six months old he was crawling and pulling himself up and by at one he was learning to walk on his prosthetic leg.
Leeza claims Lucas’ determination to succeed, despite having just one leg, is making him stronger by the day.
Leeza said: “From about six months old he was developing much quicker than other children his age.
“He could crawl at that age and by around 12 months, he got his prosthetic.
“They started the process of measuring him for his prosthetic leg in the November and by January he could wear it.
“He really is a miracle. He and his twin weren’t supposed to be alive and yet they are doing so well.
“The differences that Peter and Lucas have just make them more unique.”
FACT BOX: WHAT IS TWIN-TO-TWIN TRANSFUSION SYNDROME?
Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) is a rare but life-threatening condition that affects 10 to 15 per cent of identical twins that share a placenta (monochorionic twins).
TTTS can also occur in triplet or higher order pregnancies with monochorionic twins.
If untreated, 90 percent of babies are likely to die. Even with treatment, 50 percent of surviving babies are likely to be disabled or have a long term condition.
The blood vessels within and on the surface of the shared placenta connecting both twins should allow blood to flow evenly between the babies so that each baby receives the same amount.
However, in TTTS, part of the blood flow is diverted from one ‘donor’ twin to the other ‘recipient’ twin in what is effectively a blood transfusion (hence the name).
A lack of blood supply can affect the donor twin’s growth so they are smaller than average. The recipient twin is usually larger and has a higher blood volume, which can strain their heart as it works harder to cope with the extra blood supply.