When Larry Prout Jr was born his parents couldn’t celebrate their bundle of joy; doctors told them their son only had a 20 percent chance of survival.
Larry, from Howell, Michigan, was born with spina bifida and an omphalocele, a large hole in his abdomen that left his abdominal organs exposed outside his body.
After he was born doctors also discovered that Larry was missing his colon as well as some of his muscles and vertebrae.
Everything was done to keep this little baby alive and Larry had to endure 104 surgeries – now, against all the odds, he graduated from high school and celebrated his 19th birthday.
”He has 37 different diagnoses the last time I counted. He was missing things. He was missing his colon and we’ve learned now a few vertebrae and even different muscles. There are a lot of parts of Larry that just aren’t there. The first years of his life were about putting him back together,” his mom, Kathy Prout, told Bleacher Report in 2017.
Larry’s survival is a miracle and he hasn’t let his condition get in the way of enjoying life and taking every opportunity that comes his way.
He was nonverbal until he was 3 years old, learned to walk when he was 9, and voluntarily removed his feeding tube when he was 15 years old so he could go to high school.
In 2016 the nonprofit Team IMPACT, which matches kids with chronic health struggles with college sports teams, connected Larry with Michigan football.
Larry has attended every home game and practice for the last three years and even formed a special friendship with player Chase Winovich.
“He was losing his self-esteem, he wasn’t liking his body,” mom Kathy told the Boston Globe. “And then these guys come along and he said, ‘Mom, they treat me like I’m their brother. They just treat me like I’m a regular kid.’”
When Chase was drafted to join the New England Patriots Larry sent him a text congratulating him and Larry and his family got tickets to one of their games.
They wanted to surprise their special friend and player Chase at the game but when they got there they were surprised and taken down the field where Larry got to meet record-breaking NFL player Tom Brady.
Larry has been embarking on a 5k ride on his recumbent bike to raise funds for palliative care at Mott Hospital. His GoFundMe page says palliative care has given kids like him a chance.
The players see Larry as an inspiration, he is the epitome of ‘no excuses,’ proving all doctors wrong and working so hard to do the things so many of us take for granted.
Even to this day, Michigan’s football program continues to have a massive impact on this brave boy’s life. In December 2021, the Wolverines and Team IMPACT made sure to surprise Larry Prout Jr. with a sweet Christmas present.
Over a videoconference, some players suddenly broke the news for him. Larry got a trip to the Orange Bowl, to watch his beloved Wolverines take on Georgia.
“I was really surprised,” Larry said. “I had no idea what they were gonna do. But it was pretty cool. I was really shocked and surprised.”
Unfortunately, Wolverines lost the final, but for Larry, it was an incredible trip, and a moment he will never forget.
“It was amazing,” Prout told MLive and continued: “I had so much fun. Really nice place. The stadium (Hard Rock Stadium) was really cool and really loud.”
I can’t wait to see what this teen hero does next. Please share to show your support for this wonderful and inspiring young man.