Seven Surgeries in 15 Years – Casey tells Starlight about her journey with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency

Casey is only 15 years old, yet she’s already had years of challenges and accomplishments. She was born with a disorder called Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD). This happens during the splitting of cells during pregnancy and the cells to create her right leg did not develop properly, leaving her with practically no femur. In December 2001, her right foot was amputated.

“For as long as I can remember my number one goal was to fit in, but that was nearly impossible for a girl with one leg and crutches,” said Casey.

Six weeks after the amputation, she was fitted with her first prosthetic leg, but there was a mental and physical challenge associated with it. She said her mind worked faster than her body; therefore, she had to find different ways to function.

By the age of four, she had back-to-back surgeries and was bed ridden because both legs, as well as half her stomach, was in a cast. After healing from these surgeries, she was fitted for another prosthetic and was fine for several years, until she was diagnosed with Scoliosis. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine and can’t be cured. Casey underwent a spinal fusion in November of 2014.

“It was the hardest surgery I have ever experienced. I spent three weeks at the hospital. It usually only takes a person a maximum of a week to recover, but it took me twice as much time,” said Casey. “Getting back up on your feet after a major surgery is hard for anyone. It was ten times harder for me, since I had to get back up on one foot.”

After her long recovery, Casey said it was her faith that continues to motivate her every day, to not take things for granted.

“As I have grown up I have realized God has given me this life with intentions that I could do great things with or without my limb,” said Casey.

Casey loves to swim and hangout with her friends and family. She wants to be a motivational speaker when she grows up or work in the hospital with kids. She says her purpose in life is to inspire others and help them find their confidence.

Her one piece of advice for other kids who have a disability: “Continue your daily routines and focus on things that you enjoy and make you happy. I know when I am going through a hard time with my disability I like to focus on things that make me happy or spend time with my family and friends who support and love me just the way I am.”

About the Author

Tara Millspaugh

Digital Media Manager

Comments 1

  1. I am a 4th year student at the university of Strathclyde studying Prosthetics and Orthotics. As part of my paediatric prosthetics module I have been tasked to give a presentation on PFFD to my class and I would like to use this image to show the evolution of prosthetic prescription as a child grows. I would be happy to crop the face out to reduce identifiers?

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