Maja Kazazic: War Survivor Finds Inspiration and Friendship From Animals With Prosthetic Limbs

April 20, 2020
Hanger Clinic

After losing her leg in the Bosian war at age 16, Maja Kazazic found a new life in the United States. Inspired by the story of Winter the dolphin, she sought prosthetic care at Hanger Clinic, which eventually led her to her canine soulmate, Rosie the Great Dane, who is also an amputee. Rosie and Maja have a special bond, and today, they inspire millions by sharing their stories of resilience.

Maja (my-a) Kazazic grew up in former Yugoslavia during the Bosian war. When she was 16 years old, she was severely injured by a rocket-propelled grenade, which led to the amputation of her leg. She was flown to the United States for treatment, not knowing if she’d ever see her parents again.

Thankfully, her mother, father, and brother survived the war, and the family was eventually reunited in the States. They settled in Clearwater, Florida, where Maja learned English, graduated from high school and college, and is now a successful business owner.

An Unlikely Source of Inspiration

Maja decided to seek prosthetic and orthotic treatment at Hanger Clinic after visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) and meeting Winter the dolphin. She began following Winter’s story and volunteering at CMA. She felt like Winter was the animal version of herself and decided she wanted the same clinician as Winter. She went to Hanger Clinic for her prosthesis, which she wears with a WintersGel liner, created from the same type of gel that was originally created for Winter.

A Special Bond

As a result of the tragedy Maja endured, it is no surprise she was left with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which left her living through constant panic attacks and night terrors, rendering her broken and unable to function at times. When she began looking for a natural solution to help, she never expected it would be in the form of a rescue Great Dane named Rosie.

Maja learned about Rosie from her clinician who was providing prosthetic care to both of them. Like Maja, Rosie was also an amputee after suffering a traumatic injury. She now wears a prosthesis from Hanger Clinic to avoid scoliosis and other medical issues.

Maja had never even thought of adopting a dog, but when she heard Rosie was a Great Dane and an amputee, she knew, “This is my dog.” In September 2015, Maja adopted Rosie, and they have been an inseparable pair ever since.

Now, their bond is stronger than ever. Rosie helps Maja predict and manage her panic attacks, and together, they provide courage, hope, and resilience to millions of people around the world by sharing their inspiring stories.

Watch Maja and Rosie’s Story

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