A mother who has been abused for years because she was born with 12 toes and webbed feet will amputate her feet.
Mum with a disability, Laura Booze, 26, of Millersport, Ohio, was born with Polydactyly and Syndactyl Syndrome, which has been labeled a ‘freak’ and a ‘duck’ by cruel bullies.
Her disability even led to her family being accused of incest by sick children.
Laura was born with two extra large toes and almost completely fused fingers on one hand, between her middle and ring fingers.
Despite having had several corrective procedures throughout her life, Laura has suffered from chronic pain most of the time.
She said, “The hardest part of my trip was the pain. I can deal with deformed and ‘ugly’ feet. But the pain is unbearable. The pain limits me in so many ways.
“As a child I had to quit sports, gymnastics and dancing. When I was twenty, I gave up my photography and my role as a nanny. I couldn’t do anything in my spare time because I was sobbing in bed in pain.
“I had to stop going to the gym. I lost my job because of the pain. I have to keep my feet up all day so they don’t touch anything. Every feeling is unbearable – even the sheets on my bed can be unbearable.
“I can’t wear socks or shoes – just single-strap sandals that don’t hit my foot too much. The pain has taken away much of my independence. I can’t do what other twenty six year olds are doing. “
“I’ve had three surgeries on my hand, eight surgeries on my right foot, six surgeries on my left foot, and one surgery on each of my calves,” added Laura.
Despite this, she is now faced with a double foot amputation, which brings her to terms now, but her journey to this point was not easy.
When she was one year old, Laura had her first surgery to separate her fingers. A year later, the doctors operated on her feet and removed the inner big toes from each foot.
Her leftover big toes were then placed next to her other toes, but she was left with chronic problems. In 1999, her big toes had to be completely removed, leaving only four toes on each foot.
Three years later, she started experiencing a lot of chronic pain because of the underdeveloped bones in her feet after her toe amputations. Doctors eventually removed the underdeveloped extra bones, but hesitated to do so for fear of worsening Laura’s condition.
Then in 2014, the sides and balls of Laura’s feet began to collapse, forcing the doctors to intervene again with reconstructive surgery using five plates and 15 screws.
Laura got so painful nerve pain that the best option now is to amputate her feet.
Laura recalled her lifelong ordeal: “It was my normal life, sitting in a wheelchair and living a life of pain made me quite heavy. It was all I knew, so I can’t remember feeling very confident. Unfortunately.
“I was often bullied for my feet and it affected my confidence as a child, although I didn’t think this would be a problem as an adult. Now I feel that my disability had invented the life I ruined.
‘As a child I was called a’ freak ‘and a’ duck ‘. People suggested that my family was incestuous.
“I had a lot of dreams and was very lively and ambitious before my condition deteriorated. After 2014 the wind blew from me.
“It’s a siren that blares in my ears all the time and I’m the only one who hears it, but I have to function as if there’s no chaos in my body. The siren is not only unbelievable pain, it is my sadness. Inside I am waiting for the person I once was. ‘
Despite the persistent low spells, Laura tried to be a happy mother to her children.
“I do what other moms do, but I just have to do it differently,” she says. “I find a way to always adjust every little thing to give me comfort, but not to hinder my involvement with my son.
Laura wants to prove that having a disability shouldn’t dampen your mood and her ultimate goal in life is to be the best mom she can be.
“I just want to be a good mother. I don’t know what my future looks like, right now it feels kind of hopeless to the extent that I’m going with the pain, ”she said.
“But I can’t control my pain or how it limits me. I can control how I use it and how I submit disabilities to my son.
“My dream is to be a good mother. I want to use my pain to help others with whatever they’re going through. ”