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Born With Deformed Foot, Short Toe

By Miss. Confidential, age 17

My left foot had been deformed my whole life. I was born with a large bunion and a toe that was about half the size it was supposed to be. I never showed my feet to anyone. I always wore closed toed shoes. Summer was my least favorite season...Even the getting out of school couldn't make up for the fact that I had to wear sneakers all the time and barely ever wanted to go swimming. Finally, I had had enough. I told my mom that I wanted to fix my foot. For several months, we went from doctor to doctor asking if anything could be done about my foot. The bunion was fine - everyone had seen something like that before - and all the doctors said it would not be too difficult to fix. The small toe, however, was a whole new issue altogether. Some doctors said they had no idea how to fix something like that. Others said it was impossible. Then, my mom came across Dr. Leavitt on the internet. She remembered hearing about him before, and we decided to go see him. I had basically given up hope by then, but my mom was feeling very optimistic.

When Dr. Leavitt saw my foot, he said he'd never done that type of surgery, but he did some research on it and found that it was entirely possible. And that was that. Several months later, he performed the surgery. He decided to take care of the bunion and the small toe at the same time. All we could do after that was wait while the toe bone grew and lengthened. Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't just boring old waiting. It was tough. I was on crutches for six months. Plus, my foot hurt a lot for the first couple of months. Anytime it hurt more than usual, though, or even if I was just worried about it, Dr. Leavitt would tell me to come in either that day or the next. Even if it was a Sunday or he had a huge line of patients, he was always able to squeeze me in. Eventually, I found myself having to come into his office less and less, and, by the time I knew it, it was over. I finally was able to start walking and start wearing a shoe on my foot.

Now, it's if as I never had the surgery. I can run and wear high heels and do anything I could do before the surgery. The only difference is that my foot actually looks normal. I'm not afraid if other people see it anymore. Sure, I have some scars, but they're slowly fading. I'm actually excited for the summer to come around.

Miss. Confidential, age 17
(Patient requested her name and contact info not be published)