A toddler had both amputated her legs after her first birthday after she was born boneless in her shins.
Freya Gibbs, 18 months old, was diagnosed with tibial hemimelia, a rare defect of the lower limb that is believed to occur in a million births.
Parents Danielle, 27, and Michael Gibbs, from Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, Wales, didn't know anything was wrong with their baby until she was born.
They were warned that their daughter would never walk, with the lack of bones causing her legs to turn inside.
Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs have been thinking for a long time about deciding to amputate Freya's legs, and concluded that an operation was not worth it.
Freya had both legs below her knee during surgery and her parents hope that this means that she can adapt to prosthetic limbs at a young age.
Freya Gibbs, 18 months old, was diagnosed with rare tibial hemimelia, a deficiency of the lower limbs, which meant that both legs were boneless. In the photo as a baby
Parents Danielle, 27, and Michael Gibbs, from Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, Wales, decided that amputation of Freya's legs would be the best option. Recently pictured at her home
Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs, who also have a daughter named Olivia, pictured, did not know anything was wrong with Freya until she was born on September 7, 2017
The family considered giving Freya operations that should be performed in the US, but decided not to consider it because they might decide to have their legs amputated at a later time
Mrs. Gibbs, a store manager, said: “It was a difficult decision to make, but we thought it would be better to amputate both legs of Freya and to get her used to life without being young Age.
& # 39; We could have tried to spend the next 15 years with endless painful operations, but we didn't want her to go through just for them not to work or to decide that she still wants an amputation.
& # 39; In this way, she will never remember anything else and we hope that she will adapt quickly to life with prosthetic limbs. & # 39;
Freya was born on September 7, 2017 in Carmarthen, Wales, weighing 6lbs 8oz.
Doctors said they might have clubfoot feet, but later they realized that her legs were bent and she couldn't move them.
Mrs. Gibbs, who is also a mother of Olivia, said: & # 39; Her feet were in an uncomfortable position, her knees were not moving, and her legs were in a fixed position. & # 39;
Doctors said that Freya had a club foot, but later realized that her knees were not moving and that her legs were in a fixed position. Pictured shortly after birth
Freya had her lower legs removed during a four-hour operation at Cardiff Children's Hospital on February 18
Mrs. Freya said she was & # 39; so relieved & # 39; after the operation of Freya that
WHAT IS TIBIAL HEMIMELIA?
Tibial hemimelia, is a malformation, partial or total absence of the tibia, the thicker of the two bones in the lower leg.
It is the rarest form of bone bone growth, occurring in only one in a million live births, according to orthopeadic surgeons such as the Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute.
The problems at birth, but some experts say it can be seen during pregnancy scans.
It can affect one or two legs, with two (bilateral) being affected in 30 percent of the cases.
The leg is almost always shortened and there are probably foot and ankle deformities and the foot may have extra toes. The knee may be turned inwards and may be unstable or completely dislocated.
Instability is also due to the absence of muscles or ligaments that attach the tibia to the femur.
Treatments include, depending on individual cases, limb extension procedures to gradually increase the affected bone over time. In severe cases, amputation of limbs and the use of a prosthetic limb may be the best option.
Two weeks later she was diagnosed with bilateral tibial hemimelia. Bilateral means that it happens in both legs.
Further tests showed that she also had a hole in her heart, but it is unclear why or what the defect was.
Freya underwent heart surgery in September 2018 – two days before her first birthday – at Bristol Children's & # 39; s Hospital.
The family consulted specialists in Wales and the US over the legs of Freya and considered the use of metal pins secured by cages to stabilize them.
But the family feared that it would require 15 years of surgery, with frequent trips to the US. They were also afraid that it would still not work, which meant that she needed amputations in later life anyway.
Mrs. Gibbs said: “We would meet a surgeon in Florida and he was very interested in saving the leg – using metal pins and cages that go around the legs and he does quite a few operations to do that.
& # 39; We did look at it, but since Freya has no leg at all in one leg and just a little bit in the other, this would have meant 15 years of painful surgery.
& # 39; We should travel to America every time for them and it might not work, so the end result could be amputation anyway. There was no guarantee that it would even work.
& # 39; It's in the early stages. The children who have undergone surgery are not yet adults, so you do not know what it will be like when they are adults.
& # 39; We didn't want to force her through that at the age of 16 to turn around and say, "You know what? I want an amputation anyway."
Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs realized that if Freya had the amputations now, she would not know otherwise.
Mrs. Gibbs said: “She will learn how to adapt to prosthetic legs and will always have done it that way.
Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs realized that if Freya, photographed at home, had now had the amputations, she would not know otherwise and adapt quickly
Freya was also born with a hole in her heart and underwent heart surgery in September 2018 – two days before her first birthday – at Bristol Children's & # 39; s Hospital
Mrs. Gibbs said: “Once she's finished, she can't be stopped. Nothing will stop her now. & # 39; In the photo, Mrs. Gibbs with her two children
& # 39; Children bounce back. If they want to do something, they do it, instead of an adult struggling, the children go on with it.
& # 39; We knew it had to be done for her. Her legs started to stop her. She really wanted to walk and run around and play with other children.
& # 39; They all run around and she tries to keep up, crawl, we wish she could run around with them. & # 39;
Freya had her lower legs removed during a four-hour operation at Cardiff Children's Hospital on February 18.
She was in and out of the hospital the same day, got out of the anesthesia very quickly and returned to her normal self.
Mrs. Gibbs said, "When she came back to the ward and we saw her, I just ran over and cried. I was so relieved.
& # 39; She was already awake and very alert. She just wanted to be picked up and hugged immediately. She's not mad or anything. She is her usual chirping self. & # 39;
The family said they will always remember Freya with feet.
Mrs. Gibbs said: “Before her surgery, we took many pictures of her legs. We even cast them in plaster cast – so we'll always have her little legs. & # 39;
Now back home, Freya has a follow-up appointment to see if the wounds heal and four to six weeks after her she will be fitted for prosthetic limbs.
Mrs. Gibbs said: “Once she's finished, she can't be stopped. Nothing will stop her now. & # 39;
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