The 30 years old, Jeff suffers from the rare disorder in which his bones and skin along with other tissues don’t stop growing, resulting in Proteus Syndrome. All his life, he has battled tortuous conditions that left him helpless and unable to walk. He begged doctors to amputate his feet.
The syndrome has caused swelling of his feet to a huge size and left him miserable as he is unable to do the simplest tasks that most people find easy. He said that Proteus Syndrome is better known as the Elephant Man disease. He explained that his feet have become heavier particularly his left foot. That’s why it is very difficult for him to lift or move it because he ends up falling.
Now he is completely unable to stand or walk for more than10 steps at a time as his illness worsens. He said he feels like he is walking on the glass surface because he uses a wheelchair. He can’t even wear shoes as his left foot has increased to a huge size which is a size 16 whereas his other, right foot is a size 12.
He shared that going shopping is useless, there is no way he can get any proper shoes that fit his size. He added that he also feels humiliated sometimes by his weird feet and it’s a constant pain for him.
If he doesn’t properly care of his feet, he often experiences a lot of bad odor that smells like that of rotten cheese. Consulting a number of doctors, he was almost hopeless that there is no cure for his feet and eventually gave up his life long desire of being a footballer.
He shared that it hurts to see athletes having normal feet, normal movements like goal scoring, and later on celebrating it with the fellow players.
With the last remaining hopes, Jeff consulted Dr. Brad Schaeffer to know if there is something that could help him and improves his life. Dr. Schaeffer was shocked to his feet size and described it as the largest feet ever.
Dr. Schaeffer added that his feet tissue has swollen like a balloon making his foot look like cauliflower and some of his toes appear as that of small balls.
After undergoing 11 surgeries, Jeff is still far away from the life quality that he deserves. Dr. Schaeffer astonished when Jeff begged him to treat him by coining an unexpected solution, amputation.
The doctor then explained that it is not something that he would recommend as he has seen re-growth of bones after undergoing an amputation. These bones might become sharp and also possibly cut the skin.
Dr. Schaeffer decided to make feet moulds of Jeff’s and said that he wanted to do more research on this before making a plan and prepare Jeff and his family for it. After six weeks of this first checkup, Jeff returned to him and Dr. Schaeffer surprised him with customized shoes especially designed and made for him that could accommodate his feet. As to him, this is the first-ever shoes, in the last seven years and he is surprised and happy to wear shoes after years.
Jeff shared that he feels that his dream has turned into a reality and he is delighted on it. Dr.Schaeffer is very hopeful that this new custom made sandals will eventually make his life less-difficult by letting him walk around freely and more comfortably.
Jeff shared that he wishes to wear something comfortable and easy which he could put on without any help and walk in the entire house. It’s been seven years that he is diagnosed with Proteus Syndrome which has snatched the liberty of walking freely from him.