The Boy Who Survived The Crash

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A Leg To Stand On (ALTSO) at Work...

In 2010, on a day like any other, Refan’s parents, Nanag and Maryani, road their motorbike to the market. With Refan wrapped tightly in a sarong against his mother’s chest, their bike suddenly crashed. Blowing in the wind, Nanag’s sarong was caught in the rear wheel, forcing all three of them to be violently ripped to the ground. When Nanag and Maryani came to, the shock of seeing their 16-month-old baby’s leg detached from his body made them unaware of what had just happened.

“Common in the developing world, a woman’s sarong will get caught in the rear wheel of a motorbike, resulting in traumatic injury or even death.”

As bystanders witnessed the crash, they quickly rushed to Refan’s side to apply pressure — if not, the blood loss would have turned fatal. By flagging down a vehicle, the three were able to be rushed to the nearest hospital. 

Despite not having the proper equipment to perform the complex surgery of reattaching Refan’s leg, the surgeon decided there was not enough time to transport Refan to the nearest, more advanced hospital in Surabaya — 167 miles away. As a result, Refan was left without his lower right leg — but nonetheless, was extremely lucky to be alive.

Fast forward to 2014 — making only $3 a day, Nanag and Maryani could not afford the prosthetic care Refan began to need and would continue to need for many years to come. Through A Leg To Stand On's (ALTSO) supporters, we were able to change that. In the summer of 2014, Refan received his first prosthetic device and has already started running, dancing and being the firecracker he is!

“Refan loves to dance, climb and go to school, but none of these things would have been possible if it weren’t for compassionate and charitable individuals.”

ALTSO is committed to providing Refan new prosthetic devices, adjustments, and rehabilitation until his 21th birthday, documenting his achievements along the way.


Since this story was first published in 2014, ALTSO has provided Refan with the necessary prosthetic devices and rehabilitation as his body continues to grow - to keep him mobile, independent and in school. ALTSO has visited him and his family each year at their home in  Java, Indonesia to document his journal.