How I became an Amputee

When people notice my artificial leg they often come right out and ask, “What happened to you?”. Here’s the story of how I became an amputee!

I often come up with some crazy, exciting story like shark attack while surfing, or fought off a bear on a hike, but the truth is that many amputees have boring stories of unfortunate circumstances.

My cause of amputation was congenital. Which just means, I was born with a birth-defect. I hate this terminology, and would like to speak to whoever came up with it. Congenital always sounds like I’m talking about genitals, and defect? Am I some reject toy in the discount aisle at Target? Basically, yes, I was haha.

clubfoot, orphan, russia, russian, orphanage, adopt, adopted, baby

I was given up for adoption because of my leg. I was born in a small mountainous town in Southern Russia. I was born with Clubfoot and Tibiahemimelia. Basically, my shin wasn’t growing, and my foot was extremely internally rotated. I also had 7 toes on my foot! You know those cute little foot prints your parents hold on to? Mine looks like an alien’s feet!

I spent several years in an orphanage until my lovely Italian-American parents found me. They adopted me and brought me here to the U.S.

american, adopted, usa, leg, amputee, adopt, orphan, immigrant
Got a family, Got a Leg, & became a U.S. citizen in the same year

There were hospitals fighting over who would get to amputate my leg because Clubfoot is often treated immediately after birth. I was almost 5 years old, and still had my foot completely in-tact. We chose Shriner’s Hospital because they would support me beyond the surgery, and fit me with prostheses up until I turned 18! They removed the deformed foot, and walla! I became an amputee in 1996!

St. Louis, Missour, Shriner's Hospital, Amputation, Surgery, operation, medical, amputee, amputated
Post-op at Shriner’s Hospital, St. Louis.

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