The gift of a new toy is met with enthusiasm by most children, but for one Texas girl, a doll that looks just like her triggered tears of joy.
Courtney Fletcher Bennett gave her daughter Emma a new American Girl doll that was custom fitted with a prosthetic right leg, just like hers.
In a video posted to Facebook Wednesday, Emma, whose last name was not disclosed, is presented the box by her little sister and told to read the enclosed letter.
Emma lifts a flap covering the doll’s legs, sees the pink prosthetic leg, flips the cover back down and gasps in surprise.
“You gotta be kidding me!” she says before taking the doll out of the box and hugging it closely, tears streaming down her face.
Her mother asks, “Do you love her?” and Emma responds, “I love you.”
The letter, from A Step Ahead Prosthetics, details the doll’s journey, which included a few weeks of training to walk and run with her new prosthetic.
“She is ready to go home and live her life without limitations with you,” the letter reads.
According to their website, A Step Ahead Prosthetics, which is based in New York and Boston, does not charge for customization of the dolls. In a statement, the company said:
“We feel that it is absolutely crucial to boost self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of inclusion for little girls with limb loss, and that something as small as a doll that resembles them can have a profound effect on their mental and physical well-being.”
Anyone with a child facing amputation is invited to send the company an American Girl doll that they modify with prosthetic limbs that are designed and fabricated alongside the full-size prosthetics and painted by hand.
“Thank you for making a doll like me,” Emma says in the video, which has gained over 8 million views.