Surgery offers hope for girl born with rare leg disorder

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

Hitting one-in-a-million odds is typically cause for celebration, but not in the case of one-year-old London girl.

Marley Ackland was born missing the tibia in her left leg. The possibility of being born with the disorder, called tibial hemimelia, is roughly the same as flipping a coin same-side-up 20 times in a row.

Based on ultrasounds before she was born, Ackland’s parents were aware she had an abnormality in her legs, but they were unsure of what exactly.

“We thought she would have clubbed feet,” said Sascha Ackland, Marley’s mother.

She’s just starting to crawl, though she struggles because of how her leg without a bone rests when she is on her stomach.

If Marley’s abnormality goes unfixed, she will never walk.

Specialists at London Health Sciences Centre recommended her parents look into treatment at the Paley Advanced Limb Lengthening Institute in Florida.

Dror Paley, a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School, is an internationally ­renowned orthopedic surgeon. Before he founded Paley Institute, he was chief of pediatric orthopedics at the University of Maryland.

The Acklands have met with Paley and are confident he can save their daughter’s leg.

“She won’t walk until this procedure happens,” Ackland said.

The cost of the surgery, Ackland expects, will be upward of $100,000. She and her husband are applying to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan for funding that they hope will put a dent in that total.

Marley also will have to have surgery on her other leg to correct a dislocated knee and a fibula that’s slightly shorter than it should be, an incredibly rare condition ­itself.

Following the protocol of the more serious procedure, the Ackland family would stay in Florida for up to four months for physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

The Acklands have raised $8,000 through a GoFundMe page, “Help Save Marley’s Leg.”

“It’s quite overwhelming and emotional that people are so kind,” Ackland said.

They’re still well away from their goal of $50,000.

They expect that amount would cover their lost wages and the costs of travel and stay.

If Marley has the surgery, she will have to have readjustment operations as she grows.

“It’s a tough choice, what your child’s journey is going to be,” Ackland said.

The other, more common treatment is ampution — which Ackland said was never an option: “In my heart, I just can’t do it.” 

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search



Leave a Reply