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Melissa

Arthrogryposis, Clubfoot Haiti and Michigan Dr. Standard

Melissa as a teenager standing with one leg brace and 2 canes Melissa first came to the International Center for Limb Lengthening as a five-year-old from an orphanage in Haiti. The family who hosted Melissa during her extensive treatment here developed such a strong connection with her that she became a permanent member of their family.

Melissa was diagnosed with club feet and a rare condition called arthrogryposis in which the muscles in both her legs were extremely weak and her joints contracted so that her legs folded up like a pretzel. She was only able to move around by crawling on the ground using her upper body.

Now she is a teenager and is able to stand tall thanks to multiple comprehensive surgeries by Dr. Shawn Standard, help from the Save-A-Limb Fund, the support of her loving family, and her own positive attitude, strength and courage.

  • Melissa as a young child laying on an exam table with severe club feet and arthrgryposis
  • Melissa as a young child in a wheelchair with an external fixator on one leg
  • Melissa standing with leg braces and canes
  • Melissa standing with leg braces and walker
  • Melissa standing wearing leg braces
  • Melissa standing with leg braces and canes
  • Melissa standing with leg braces and canes