Zoie was born with 4 toes on her left foot, but doctors didn’t have an explanation. By age 3, she was complaining of extreme pain in her left leg which was significantly shorter. Zoie’s parents took her to Children’s Hospital Colorado where she was diagnosed with tibial hemimelia, an extremely rare genetic disorder in which a child is born with many limb deformities.
By age 7, Zoie’s doctors discovered she was born without an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is key to stability and motion in the knee. In 2020, she had a surgery to create an ACL from a portion of her iliotibial (IT) band, the thick band of tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh. In 2021, Zoie had her ankle reconstructed and a procedure called hemiepiphysiodesis. A total of five plates were placed among both of her legs to control the growth of her long leg, as well as control the angle at which her left leg was growing.
In the next 10 years, Zoie will endure several more surgeries. Her doctors work to reduce her chronic pain and focus on keeping Zoie her buoyant, jubilant self. The last two years have been difficult for Zoie and her family, but the little girl continues to pursue her big dreams, despite facing numerous obstacles.