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Andrew's Plight

Andrew's Plight

  • Location:      Unknown
  • Born:            May 15, 1999
  • Diagnosis:     Unilateral 

  • Treatment:    Dr. Moseley's PFF Device
  • Told by:        Mom - Barbara
  • Date written:  03/29/2003

May 15th 1999, a beautiful baby boy was born into our family. During pregnancy
I was told that he had would be born with birth-defects. He was born with
PFFD and the fibula on both legs was underdeveloped.

We wanted him to have a normal life and we didn't know who to turn to to
get the help we needed. We turned to Shriner's Hospital in St. Louis. He
was fitted for a procesthesis at the age of one. This was a pilon at the
bottom of his shoe. He couldn't keep his ballance but at that time it was
all the knowledge that was available to us as parents and we trusted the
men in white. Between age 1 to 3yrs, we were told that the Van Ness or amputation
was the only two options available and one or the other needed to be done
by the age of 4 . During this time, he was fitted for two other prosthesis
that caused him pain while walking. We prayed that there would be other options
open to us and that God would guide us as to what direction we needed to

As parents the options given wasn't what we wanted for our son. If any decision
was to be made about putting our son through painful operations or taking
off part of his body, it would be his choice.

I was desparate for an alternative, so I got a computer and went on line
to look for options. I came across a doctor out of California, Dr. Moseley.
We started e-mail that lasted for about 3 months. He said he could help Andrew
without surgery with a prosthesis he designed to help him walk that would
be natural. We watched a video of several children that he had helped with
his prosthesis. If you have ever seen a child walk with the Van Ness proccedure
done vs. Dr. Moseley's prosthesis you would never understand why the Van
Ness isn't outlawed. The only explaination that was given to us why the Van
Ness procedure is done was that it was strickly for cosmetic reasons and
to make the prosthesis that was designed by Dr. Moseley would take too much
work for the prosthetist. No one wanted to see a small foot sticking out
above a prosthetic foot and to turn the foot around and hide it was more
acceptable to society.

Through our church and friends, we were able to fly to California and meet
Dr. Moseley for the first time. The man was awesome. He was concerned for
Andrews well being as well as ours. That was a first for us because during
our visits to other doctors they were so clinical and set in a routine they
forgot about the individual they were treating.

Andrew was fitted and started wearing his brace. This was the first time
he hadn't complained about a prosthesis hurting him. He wears it today without
a second thought to any discomfort the other prosthetics had given him.

Andrew is attending pre-school this year. He wears his prosthesis everyday.
The children are courious and ask him questions about his leg. Andrew's proud
to tell them all about (what he calls his third leg) prosthesis. He is involved
in all the activities at school and doesn't think of himself as having a

He, along with our other two boys, is a gift from God. He does have a purpose
for being the way he is. If his story can help other children born with PFFD
avoid painful surgeries, enlighten parents to research alternatives and not
be afraid to let their child develope normally as God intended, than Andrews
life has reached at least one of his purposes here on earth. We thank God
every night for bringing us together with Dr. Moseley and his wonderful
prosthetic design.

Contact Barbara at