Parenting is tough at the best of times, but it has been nothing short of harrowing for Jackie and Matt Moravek, from Kalamazoo, Michigan. The young couple had to make the awful decision to have their four-year-old’s leg broken a total of 300 times over four months – that’s three times a day – just to save her from amputation.
Little Elsie Moravek was born with a rare disability known as proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which caused her left leg to be deformed and much shorter than her right leg. The two treatment options presented to the Moraveks were amputation and prosthesis, but they managed to find a third way that could potentially lengthen Elsie’s leg by just over four inches. Sadly, the gruesome procedure involved breaking her leg three times a day for four months.
“A few local doctors suggested amputation, and we considered it because the leg lengthening process is so difficult to endure,” said Jackie. “We asked ourselves if we were being cruel to put our daughter through this and whether it was worth it. But we knew it was the right decision. We wanted Elsie to have the best life possible.”