Loveland teen makes painful choice to have legs amputated

LOVELAND, Colo. - Kaleo Niko may be a carefree kid, yet two weeks ago, he may have made the toughest call of his short 13 year life.   

Niko chose to have his legs amputated, after dealing with a painful muscular condition known as Arthrogryposis, a rare medical disease that has plagued him ever since he was born.

Walking and running, became unbearable routines for Niko.

"Like a stabbing pain if I walked a lot," said Niko. "If I tried to run it would be like a throbbing pain.

“I was really scared at first. And when I woke up I was good."

After years of talking with his doctors -- even Olympic climber Craig Demartino who lost his leg in an accident - Kaleo made his decision.

"He was going to bed and I was rubbing his legs, helping him as he's going to bed and just looks at me, you know he's crying and just says I'm done,” said his mother, Helen.

"Did you ever question your decision?” asked 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart. 

“I didn't really question it,  I wanted it to go as good as it could go,” he said.

Before his life-changing surgery - Kaleo made a cast of his feet - a reminder of the pain he was leaving behind.

"You're at peace with this decision?”  asked Stewart.

"Yeah,” said Niko.

"It was just time," said Helen Niko. "He was ready. He wanted to see what life was like with two working feet”

Niko will be fitted with prosthetic legs next month.

Shriners Hospital for Children is covering the surgery costs as well as his first set of prosthetics.

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