I am Anna, a Polish 3 year-old girl.
I was born in 2009 with a genetic disease NF 1 which affected CPT of the left leg. My parents were shocked when they had been told that in first year of my life the leg would be broken and never united by itself. That happened very quickly (i.e. when I was 3 months old). Desperately seeking help, my parents finally found Dr. Paley’s web page. After 8 months of receiving the info that the leg was difficult to be cured with repeatable surgeries and no guarantee to succeed, my parent got a message from Dr. Paley that there was a procedure which could be used for me and it had worked for other children. They got the whole instruction of the treatment and then I began my training to Olympics.
Anna's x-ray before surgery
My first trials were not easy. I couldn’t walk for the16 first months of my life. A big step was done after the first surgery by Dr. Paley. It was worth it to have that 8 hour procedure and llizarov fixator on my leg.
I started to discover the world on both my legs. We came back to Poland. After four months of having the external fixator, my parents sent to Dr. Paley the check-up x-ray. The reply was quick and unforgettable – “the bone is united new world record!” My first world record ever!
We quickly came back to the US. The external fixator was removed and I started to wear an orthosis, to be my second skin along with a two inch shoe lift.
Dr. Paley let me come back home and I could use my leg almost as a normal child. I had my next checkup in April 2012 in Helsinki. Dr. Paley met me in his hotel room during his stay because of an orthopedics conference where my case was presented.
It occurred that I had to have an ankle correction. To limit the number of surgeries, Dr. Paley decided to lengthen the leg at the same time.
My Olympics started in July 2012, in London. I came to the US for the third time. I was not afraid. When I entered the Institute a nice smile and friendliness from the staff welcomed me as always.
I was put in the external fixator again and after 2.5 months my leg managed to grow 2 inches more. This time it is only my record, not a world record. My legs are equal, nothing special for a healthy person, but for me a miracle.
I am lucky to get to know Dr. Paley. He didn’t know me at all when my parents contacted him. But he never disregards any of their emails. He always responds to any message my parents write him. I don’t know if the future is on my side but I know that Dr. Paley is and I am really thankful to him not only for his skills but also for his kindness and engagement.