Girl born with backward legs walks for first time
A Polish girl who was born with an extremely rare lower-limb deformity can now walk, after her family traveled across the Atlantic from their home in England for her surgery, according to Inside Edition.
Victoria Komada, 3, was born with bilateral tibial hemimelia — a condition characterized by a shortened lower limb, missing tibia and backward positioning of the foot, according to the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. The deformity is extremely rare and occurs in just one out of every one million live births.
"We were looking for help everywhere," Komada's mother Marzena Drusewicz recalled in an interview with SWNS.
Photo: Paley Institute
Multiple doctors reportedly told Drusewicz that they would need to amputate both of Komada's legs, but Drusewicz refused to let them do so. After doing some more research, she and her family found Dr. Dror Paley, a surgeon in Florida who would, at least, be able to reconstruct Komada's left leg and fit the right one with a prosthetic. Though Drusewicz was initially hesitant to allow any amputation to occur, she decided to go ahead with the surgery after a second visit.
Still, the cost of the operation was expensive. Drusewicz and her family needed to come up with nearly $235,000, an amount they were fortunate enough to raise via donations from thousands of people who sympathized with Komada.
The family flew out to West Palm Beach last July, when Komada had her first procedure at the Paley Institute. The surgeon amputated the child's right leg and attached a fixator to stabilize her left one.
Over the next seven months, Drusewicz and her husband "had to twist six individual screws a few millimeters each day to coax the bones excruciatingly into place," according to the Eastern Daily Press. The pain was unbearable for Komada, Drusewicz said.
"That was a horrible time because she was crying all the day and night," Komada's mother told the British newspaper. "She was saying, 'I've had enough, what are you doing to me?'"
RELATED: See photos of Victoria Komada before and after her operation:
Komada had her second operation in November, when doctors strengthened her left leg by inserting wires. In just two days, she was able to take her first steps, astonishing both her physiotherapists and family.
"We were so happy when she took the first steps we started crying," Drusewicz recalled. "We were on the way to the car and she said, 'Mummy, can l show you something?'"
In fact, Komada's progress went so well that she was able to return home in April — a month ahead of schedule. Her mother says she is relieved her daughter's ordeal is finally over.
"It was horrible at the start but now I can say we are done, and we are happy," Drusewicz said.