Girl, 3, Born with Backwards Legs Walks for the First Time After Groundbreaking $225K Surgery
Victoria Komada was born with both legs bent backwards, leaving her unable to walk for the first three years of her life.
Her condition, bilateral tibial hemimelia, is a congenital deformity that causes missing bones and deformities in the legs and ankles, according to the Paley Institute.
“We were looking for help everywhere,” her mother, Marzena Drusewicz, told SWNS.
According to the Good News Network, Victoria’s family members, who live in Poland, were first told that both of her legs needed to be amputated, but they insisted there must be another option.
They then found Dr. Dror Paley, a surgeon in Florida who said he would be able to reconstruct one of her legs — and it would cost $235,000.
The family reached out to the public for help, and after raising the funds, they traveled in July to the Paley Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to the Good News Network.
Dr. Paley determined that he could fix the 3 year old’s left leg, but her right leg would have to be amputated and could be fitted with a prosthetic.
After the nine-hour surgery in July, Victoria’s parents “had to twist six individual screws a few millimeters each day to coax the bones excruciatingly into place,” according to the Eastern Daily Press.
“That was a horrible time because she was crying all day and night,” Drusewicz told the newspaper. “She was saying, ‘I’ve had enough — what are you doing to me?’”
“One day I was thinking I wanted to pack our stuff and come back home,” she added. “We weren’t eating or sleeping properly and there was so much stress with Victoria.”
But after another surgery in November — which fused together the bones in her left leg — things became easier.
Miraculously, she was walking two days after her second surgery and plans to start school in September, according to the Good News Network.
“We were so happy when she took her first steps, we started crying,” Drusewicz told the outlet. “We were on the way to the car and she said, ‘Mummy, can I show you something?’”
She added: “Of course I was so scared and didn’t know what was going to happen. [But] every week, she got better and better and now she is not in any pain at all. She can now walk normally and we can all start our life again now [that] we are home.”
“We achieved all that we said we would achieve for her. The reconstructed leg is very functional,” Dr. Paley told the Good News Network. “She can walk and run and do sports now. She has had superb results.”
Looking back on their trying journey to her little girl’s first steps, Drusewicz expressed gratitude for everyone who helped raise the money.
“Thank you,” the relieved mom told the Eastern Daily Press. “Sometimes there aren’t enough words to describe the appreciation.”
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