The doctors said that he wouldn’t live longer than two weeks after being born. Last month, Larry Prout Jr., from Howell, Michigan, had his high school graduation photos taken, and he will celebrate his 19th birthday later this month.
Larry has been called a “miracle” boy for having survived so much despite an extreme medical condition that has affected his body. He was born with a defect called cloacal exstrophy, causing split genitalia and every organ to grow outside his body except his lungs and heart.
“It’s a real surprise that I was able to go through this much and still be here,” he told Caters News agency.
The young man has endured 106 surgeries in his lifetime. After suffering countless health obstacles, Larry is proud to still be here.
“When I was younger, I used to get really depressed because of all the things going on, but in the past few years I have overcome so many things,” he shared. “Getting through all those surgeries and making progress has led me to embracing life much more.”
Other birth defects accompanied his condition, including an underdeveloped spine, the absence of a colon and stomach muscles, and a dysfunctional small intestine, according to Caters.
Additionally, Larry suffered developmental disorders: he was non-verbal until the age of 3, he didn’t take his first steps until he was 9, and he was connected to a feeding tube until he voluntarily had it disconnected so that he could attend high school at age 15.
“I love that I’m able to go to school with the other kids now,” Larry shared. “It’s something I really enjoy doing. I love all of my friends and teachers.”
The young man has made great strides toward living a normal life. He is now able to speak like other teenagers his age. He now walks more than he uses a wheelchair, although he still has a rod in his back. And he gets all of his calories from four to five protein drinks a day, though he still has trouble eating solid food, and he carries two colostomy bags.
Larry Sr. said that witnessing his son walk for the first time was one of the most exciting moments. “When he was nine, we would bring him to a gym and put him on the trampoline. One day he just got off the trampoline and started walking on the mats,” the father said. “It was incredible. He has really come a long way and proved the doctors wrong.”
An avid football fan, Larry was made an honorary member of his favorite team, the University of Michigan Wolverines, thanks to non-profit Team IMPACT. This has afforded Larry the opportunity to attend many games and even get to know the coaches and players of the football franchise.
Meanwhile, Larry’s dad says that members of the team have found motivation from his son’s strength having overcome so many obstacles in his life. “Everyone seems to like him. They see him as an inspiration,” Larry Sr. said.