Children Speak

Hi, My name is Michaela.

For my entire life, I’ve had one wish: to have two legs the same length. I wanted to walk without a limp, to live without back pain and without aches in my knees and hips; most of all, I wanted to do ballet.

When I was born, it was discovered that I had a fairly rare condition called congenital posteromedial tibia bowing. As I got older, this caused my left leg to be about seven centimetres shorter than my right leg. 

The difference in my leg lengths limited my activity, including dance. My leg length difference made ballet not only extremely difficult but also painful. I continued on with every other type of dance, but sadly accepted that ballet would have to be put on hold.

That is, until I met Dr. Cooper at BC Children’s Hospital! Dr. Cooper broke my tibia and fibula, and surgically placed a device called the Taylor Spatial Frame onto my left leg.

In the first month or so of wearing my frame I would cover it up, as I always got strange looks when I was out in public. However, after a couple of months, I became proud of my leg and learned to love telling strangers about it. 

I’ve learned that good things do come out of seemingly bad situations and those corny quotes on Pinterest aren’t lying to you. I can’t thank Dr. Cooper and his team enough for everything they have done for me. I am so grateful to have such an incredible doctor and caregiving crew; they’ve changed my life. The day I was originally supposed to have my frame removed was the day of my Grade 7 graduation. Dr. Cooper changed the date of my surgery to a week before my grad, which he said would be just enough time for me to be able to walk across the stage without crutches.

When the time came, I put faith in my newly grown bone and Dr. Cooper’s word. It was then that I walked across the stage for the first time in my life with legs the same length. 

I now walk with two legs the same length, which is an indescribable feeling. Hours and hours of physiotherapy have paid off, and I started ballet about six months ago!

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