By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — It’s a story that spreads across the world from Minnesota to Africa. With help from Minnesota doctors, an Iowa family is giving new hope to their adopted son.

“Scott and I could not live with knowing that we knew about this boy on the other side of the world that was going to face a life of begging if we didn’t do something,” said Diane Larson.

She and her husband Scott adopted Teme, a boy who had nothing and needed much more than money. He needed an operation after an accident where he rolled into a fire and severely damaged his leg. It happened when he was less than 1-year-old.

Teme’s family had nothing in Ethiopia. In fact, just to support them he begged on the streets for seven years.

“We knew about this one particular kid who may not have a chance unless we do something,” said Diane.

She remembers watching an adoption video from African Widows and Orphans Project. Diane and Scott adopted a little girl but they couldn’t look away the video when they saw Teme. His clothes were falling apart.

The Larson’s were also drawn to Teme’s disability from that fire. His femur bone protrudes visibly, resembling a large tumor.

“My mom, no money,” Teme said. “My mom, no hope.”

The Larsens gave him that hope when they adopted him. Now doctors at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul want to give him more hope.

The 11-year-old has always wanted to walk on his own. He had surgery late last week at the hospital.

“He and everybody in the family is ready for this,” Scott said before the surgery.

A pediatric orthopedic surgeon and plastic surgeon operated on Teme for more than five hours. They amputated the bottom portion of his leg from the knee down. In the near future, Teme will receive a prosthetic on his lower leg and his foot.

One of his surgeons said he expects good things in the future.

“I think he’s going to be a very functional young man, who’s going to be able to go out and play and ride a bike and do the things that he wants to do,” said Dr. Mike Healy.

The surgery was successful. Teme will ditch the crutches and start walking normal once he gets the prosthetic in as early as a month. He wants to wrestle and run someday.

Teme will practice walking with a prosthetic leg before he gets his permanent one.

Diane and Scott were first to free him, giving him a chance at a new life. The doctors were next, giving him the chance to live that life like he wants. Teme’s tomorrow looks much better.

Comments (11)
  1. red says:

    Heres to a promising future for this young boy.

  2. Todd Gabrielson says:

    Gillette is one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world with the most compassionate surgeons on staff. Our family was fortunate to send our daughter to this hospital/clinic. Because of their compassion and expertise there is a boy that will have normal life!

  3. Kelly Wojtowicz says:

    Dr. Healy who did his surgery fixed my son’s club foot, and he now is starting to walk. Great people over there at Gillette’s!!!

  4. Elias Haile says:

    I just want to thank Diane and Scott for their Blessed idea and giving better life for Teme. we all should learen from them and help for those who needs our help. God bless you all.

  5. Ed says:

    There are great programs where doctors do a fine job helping out in Africa. Too bad Diane & Scott would rather help someone on the other side of the world than a kid in there own community. Now they’ll drag this kid back to Minnesota so we can all help pay for his health care.

    1. Todd Gabrielson says:

      For your information this family adopted this boy because they had compassion and love for him. They committed their life to cloth and shelter this child. Minnesota is number one in the nation for the numbers of adopted families. This family chose to pour their life into this boy and make him part of their family. What we need are more families like Diane and Scott to adopt children. I challenge everyone to follow their lead and make a home for a child who needs a loving family.

    2. Jacob Larson says:

      Oh hey just to let you know these are the other members of my family there on that video. I just thought i’d let you know Ed. If a doctor goes to Africa and helps a kid how is he still supposed to have a future. You heard my brother his mom had no money and no hope. Now he has both. You might wanna think a little harder before you speak

    3. FortAndy says:

      Now hold on a minute Ed. The world is only made better through a continuing series of small miracles and selfless acts of compassion. The Larsons have paid for all of this with their own money, so why make the ASSumption that there is a public burden here? “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly,…” Love will beat envy, ignorance, racism, and greed every time, Ed. Maybe the Larsons should adopt you as well 🙂

  6. Candice Stoddard says:

    Go, Jake. Anyone who’s gone through the adoption process knows that we have to prove that we can provide for all the needs of any children we adopt. The state of Iowa won’t have to pay for Temesgen’s support. I applaud and support the Larson family: they are brave, compassionate and Christlike.

  7. nunu tsegaye says:

    good job. way to go Jacob Larson and FortAndy.


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