Adorable Freya was born with a ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ ᴀғғᴇᴄᴛɪɴɢ just one in three million children. She had ɴᴏ sʜɪɴ ʙᴏɴᴇs in her ʟᴇɢs, meaning she could only move by crawling on her ᴋɴᴇᴇs.
The parents Danielle, 27, and Michael Gibbs, of Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, Wales ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ kɴᴏw anything was wrong with their baby until she was born. Freya was born on September 7, 2017 in Carmarthen, Wales, weighing 6lbs 8oz. Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs said she may have ᴄʟᴜʙғᴏᴏᴛ but later they realised her ʟᴇɢs were ʙᴏᴡᴇᴅand she ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ move them. At 18 months old, Freya was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅwith ᴛɪʙɪᴀʟ ʜᴇᴍɪᴍᴇʟɪᴀ, a ʀᴀʀᴇ ʟᴏᴡᴇʀ ʟɪᴍʙ ᴅᴇғᴇᴄᴛ believed to occur in one in a million births. Gibbs said: “Her feet were in an ᴀᴡᴋᴡᴀʀᴅ ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴏɴ, her ᴋɴᴇᴇs ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ move and her ʟᴇɢs were in a fixed position. Two weeks later she was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅwith bilateral ᴛɪʙɪᴀʟ ʜᴇᴍɪᴍᴇʟɪᴀ. Bilateral means it happens in both ʟᴇɢs. Further tests revealed she also had a ʜᴏʟᴇ in her ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ, however it is unclear why or what the ᴅᴇғᴇᴄᴛ was.” The parents were ᴡᴀʀɴᴇᴅ their daughter would ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ walk, with the ʟᴀᴄᴋ ᴏғ ʙᴏɴᴇ ᴄᴀᴜsɪɴɢ her ʟᴇɢs to turn inwards. They could let Freya face a lifetime of ᴘᴀɪɴғᴜʟ sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ in a bid to rebuild her sʜɪɴs or ask ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄsto ᴀᴍᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛᴇher ʟᴇɢs.
Mum Danielle said: ” Words canɴᴏt describe how proud we are of Freya. The first time Freya was able to walk along outside and Mummy and Daddy hold a hand each it felt like a miracle and we were bursting with pride. The little things that most people take for granted are so important to us. They were holding her back so we made the ʜᴇᴀʀᴛbreaking decision to have them ʀᴇᴍᴏᴠᴇᴅ. She grins from ear to ear when we bring them to her to put them on in the morning. She already kɴᴏws that once she’s put her ʟᴇɢs on, she can go out to play. Taking away Freya’s ʟᴇɢs has actually given her freedom she ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ would have kɴᴏwn otherwise. We’d make the same decision again in a ʜᴇᴀʀᴛbeat. It was a hard decision to make, but we felt it was better to have both of Freya’s ʟᴇɢs ᴀᴍᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛᴇᴅ and to let her get used to life without then from an early age. We could have tried to spend the next 15 years having endless ᴘᴀɪɴғᴜʟ ᴏᴘᴇʀᴀᴛɪᴏɴs, but we ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ want to put her through it only for them ɴᴏt to work or for her to decide she wants an ᴀᴍᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴanyway. This way she’ll ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ remember any different and we hope she’ll quickly adapt to life with ᴘʀᴏsᴛʜᴇᴛɪᴄ ʟɪᴍʙs.”
She added:” ɴᴏw she has the ᴘʀᴏsᴛʜᴇᴛɪᴄs, she is thrilled because she is able to go and play outside, just like her big sister. Olivia absolutely dotes on Freya, it’s lovely to see and there’s ɴᴏ doubt that Freya would ɴᴏt be doing nearly as well were it ɴᴏt for their bond. Before her ᴀᴍᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, she would be trying to walk on her ᴋɴᴇᴇs and following her sister around, but her ʟᴇɢs were getting in the way. As soon as she got her stumps she was on them and walking over to Olivia, ɴᴏt me and her dad. After the ᴀᴍᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, she learned to pull herself up by climbing all over Olivia. We hope she will just continue to go from strength to strength.”