Pareпts Choose to Ampυtate Two-Year-Old Daυghter’s Legs After Years of Paiпfυl Sυrgeries

Freya, a darling little girl born into the world in the small town of Carmarthen, Wales, with an astounding rarity, captured the hearts of her parents, Danielle, 27, and Michael Gibbs, 31. Freya, born on September 7, 2017, was one in three million children born without shin bones, rendering her unable to walk. This unique condition meant that little Freya could only move by crawling on her knees.

Initially, Freya’s parents were unaware of her condition until her birth. Doctors initially suspected that she might have clubfoot, but soon they realized that her legs were bowed, and she couldn’t move them. At 18 months old, Freya received a diagnosis of bilateral tibial hemimelia, an incredibly rare lower limb defect believed to occur in only one in a million births.

Michael Gibbs shared their discovery: “Her feet were in an awkward position, her knees didn’t move, and her legs were in a fixed position. Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with bilateral tibial hemimelia. Bilateral means it happened in both legs. Further tests revealed that she also had a hole in her heart, although it’s unclear why or what the defect was.”

Devastatingly, doctors warned Freya’s parents that she might never walk, as the absence of shin bones caused her legs to turn inward. They were presented with a challenging decision: to subject Freya to a lifetime of painful surgeries in an attempt to reconstruct her shins or to choose amputation as an alternative.

 

Danielle emotionally shared, “Words cannot describe how proud we are of Freya. The first time Freya was able to walk outside, holding Mom and Dad’s hands, it felt like a miracle, and we were filled with pride. The little things that most people take for granted mean the world to us. Her prosthetic legs are a game-changer for her. She smiles from ear to ear when we put them on in the morning. She already knows that once she’s got her legs on, she can head out to play.”

The decision to amputate Freya’s legs, though heart-wrenching, ultimately gave her the freedom she might not have otherwise known. Danielle added, “Taking Freya’s legs off has actually given her the freedom she would never have known otherwise. We would have tried to go through the next 15 years with endless painful surgeries, but we didn’t want to put her through that just so they might not work, or she might decide she wants an amputation anyway. This way, she will never remember anything different, and we hope she adapts quickly to life with prosthetic limbs.”

Freya’s journey has been remarkable, and her determination to embrace life is inspiring. Her family, including her loving sister Olivia, is her biggest support system, and her bond with Olivia has flourished since her amputation. Freya’s mother expressed her hope for her daughter’s future: “We hope she continues to grow stronger each day.”

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