By Lisa Hughes

BOSTON (CBS) – The holidays hold special meaning this year for a North Shore boy and his family. It’s the first Christmas since doctors saved his life.

It was 10 months ago that Sam Halpern, an active first grader, got a rare strep infection that almost killed him.

“Somehow the bacteria got into his body. And his body wasn’t able to fight it off,” said his mom, Michelle Halpern, who is a nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital. “I knew he was dying. My question was ‘Can we save him?’”

shriner Hes My Hero: Boy Who Lost Both Legs To Rare Infection Continues To Inspire

Sam Halpern lost both of his legs due to a rare infection. (WBZ-TV)

Sam was put on life support. Halpern’s colleagues – and antibiotics – saved him.

“We are lucky we live in Boston and have the best facilities in the world that have made him healthy and successful,” said Halpern.

Now a double-amputee, Sam returns to Shriners Hospital for therapy. He spent two months there recovering and regaining his balance.

Now he’s tapping into a strength beyond his almost-seven years.

shriner2 Hes My Hero: Boy Who Lost Both Legs To Rare Infection Continues To Inspire

Thanks to Shriners Hospital, Sam Halpern has neared to do all sorts of activities using his prosthetic legs. (WBZ-TV)

“I just like to play with these prosthetics and have fun with these prosthetics,” Sam said.

Each step is a victory.

“Sam is a testament that if you have the will to do it and you have the strength, you can do it. Don’t let anything stand in your way,” said Halpern. “He’s my hero. Braver than I’ll ever be.”

Sam is brave, happy and grateful for the team at Shriners.

“Because they helped me walk and everyone cheered for me,” he said.

He’s a good basketball player, but Sam says his plan is to play college football and then for the Patriots. He celebrates his seventh birthday on Friday.

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