The 30 years old, Jeff suffers from the rare disorder in which the bones, skin and other tissues don’t stop growing, Proteus Syndrome. All his life, he has battled tortuous condition that left him helpless and unable to walk. He begged doctors to amputate his feet.
The syndrome has caused swelling of his feet to an enormous size and left him miserable as he is unable to do the simplest tasks that most people take for granted. He said that Proteus Syndrome is better known as the Elephant Man disease. He explained that his feet have become heavy especially the left one. It is very difficult for him to lift his feet or to try and manoeuvre because he ends up falling.
Now he is unable to walk for more than10 steps as his illness worsens. He said it feels like to walk on the glass as he is on wheelchair almost all the time. He can’t even wear shoes as his left foot has a massive size 16 while the right one is12. He shared that even going to the shop, there is no way he can get the proper pair of shoes of this size. He added that he also feels humiliated sometimes by his weird feet as well as it’s a constant pain for him.
If he doesn’t properly care of his feet, he can easily have a lot of bad smell like rotten cheese. After consulting countless doctors, he has almost given up the hope to find a cure and also given up his aim of becoming a professional footballer. He shared that it hurts to see athletes having normal feet, normal movements scoring a goal and celebrating.
In his final attempt to find a cure and get help, Jeff consults Dr. Brad Schaeffer in New Jersey to check if he can help him and give him the hope towards the better quality of life. Dr. Schaeffer as blown away by his feet size and described it the largest feet he has ever seen.
Dr. Schaeffer added that his feet tissue has almost ballooned out as it looks like a cauliflower and some of his toes look like the golf balls. After undergoing 11 surgeries, Jeff is no closer to have the life quality he deserves. Dr. Schaeffer stunned when Jeff begged him for a shocking solution, to amputate his feet.
Dr Schaeffer explained to him that it wouldn’t be something that he would be doing personally; as he has seen that the bones do continue to grow even after undergoing an amputation. He added that sometimes the bones can even be sharp and cut through the skin.
Dr. Schaeffer decided to make moulds of Jeff’s feet and said that he wanted to do more research on this before settling on the plan and let Jeff and his mother get on their way. Six weeks after his first visit, Jeff returned to him and Dr. Schaeffer surprised him with the new custom made pair of shoes, his first pair of shoes in the last seven years.
Jeff said that he was blown away as it felt like his dream come true and it felt amazing. Dr.Schaeffer hopes that this new custom made sandals will help improve his life quality, letting him walk around freely and more comfortably.
Jeff shared that he really wanted to find something really comfortable and easy to put on so he could freely and safely walk around the house. Walking around in my new pair of shoes, Jeff feels more comfortable than he has felt in the last seven years because of Proteus Syndrome.