10:17 AM EST, February 22, 2013
Two adorable baby girls, both 19 months old, should already be walking, but the girls were born with a rare foot deformity that makes walking impossible.
One of the mothers, Heather Burke, said, “We had no idea what it was.”
The other mother, Shenan Spraiberry said, “I was scared what the future held for her.”
In both cases, the parents say doctors gave a grim prognosis. They wanted to amputate their feet, a heart wrenching decision they were too terrified to consider.
Shenan said, “After he said amputation, my mind went blank. I think I just broke down in tears.”
Now, both babies are about to undergo a miracle surgery to save their feet.
Shenan and her husband, Ephraim, took their baby, Jade, to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
It was a tearful moment before the surgery began. There was a kiss from Shenan, who broke down as she carried their precious daughter to the O.R. for the life-changing procedure.
Ephraim said, “I'm nervous, but I’m good. Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Dr. Dror Paley has pioneered limb lengthening procedure to avoid amputation.
Dr. Paley said, “She will be able to walk, run, play, jump, and do everything else. It’s senseless to throw that foot away in my opinion.”
The innovative surgery involved precise drilling of wires into the baby's bone.
Dr. Paley meticulously constructed a cage of metal rings and adjustable rods that literally twisted the foot into a normal position, one millimeter at a time, actually repositioning the bone.
After four hours, baby Jade is reeled out of O.R and into recovery.
Then it was baby Aynslie's turn. Her parents also ruled out amputation.
Mom Heather carried her little one to the O.R. Aynslie was more interested in the hair net, unaware of the life changing surgery that was ahead of her.
In Aynslie's case, Dr. Paley had to break the deformed bone in her lower leg.
He drilled and screwed a fixator cage into place.
So did the surgery work? It sure did.
Dr Paley said, “The device is so strong she can walk on it. She’s just starting. She'll be running on it.”
Aynslie said, “I’m a ballerina too.”
She faces three months of physical therapy.
Each day, Gracie’s dad adjusted the fixator rods a millimeter at a time, re-positioning the foot.
So what can these families expect?
16-year-old, Kelly Lockett had the same rare foot deformity and was one of Dr. Paley's first patient's when she was 19 months old. Today, Kelly still bares the scars, but the Phoenix teenager is otherwise leading an active normal life on her own two feet.
Meanwhile, the families of his two latest cases have bonded.
Looking forward to when their babies take their precious first steps.