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.
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.
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!