AN 11-year-old girl born with club foot said that she wanted to cut her own leg off with a kitchen knife after her condition had left her in “so much pain.”
Serenity Harwood, from Wrexham, Wales, made the shocking statement to her parents after she had been left in unbearable discomfort and unable to walk.
As reported by Wales Online, Serenity had previously undergone six operations to resolve the condition that affects the growth of the achilles tendon.
But, after her left foot eventually became twisted, her mother Dawn Harwood said her daughter told her she wanted her leg to be removed after the pain became overwhelming.
“She started saying she wanted to get a knife from the kitchen to cut her own leg off, because she was in so much pain,” said the mother-of-five.
Dawn and her husband William then had to face the devastating reality that Serenity would have to have part of her leg removed to lead a fulfilling life.
After meeting with orthopaedic consultants in Oswestry and Wrexham, it was decided Serenity’s left leg would undergo an amputation within the next three months.
Club foot is a condition where a baby is born with one or both of their feet pointed down and twisted inwards with their soles facing out.
According to the NHS website, it happens because the Achilles tendon – at the back of the ankle – is too short.
It is not painful for babies born with it – but if not treated can become painful and lead to difficulties walking.
Senreity had previously been given special footwear to help deal with the pain, but in July it was decided that the time had come to take further action.
“After she began saying she wanted to cut her own leg off we had to tell the consultant, who agreed to the amputation,” mother Dawn said
“I knew she had club foot when I was pregnant with her from the scans.”
“The doctor said it looked as though she had it, and I’d never heard of it at the time. Then she was born and her feet were so curled they looked as though they were growing back inside her.
“She was in plaster every week until she was three to try and get her feet stretched out. She had lots of operations too, but it just kept coming back worse than before. She’s so unlucky with it.
“She’s popular at school and has lots of friends, but she often sits and watches them playing and she can’t be involved. It really gets her down.
“She wanted to be a dancer when she was younger and I looked into dance lessons, but every school we asked said they couldn’t have her because of the condition.”
Serenity now walks almost permanently in orthotics, which are custom-made shoes to make her more comfortable.
But Serenity’s left foot eventually became so twisted that she couldn’t even walk properly and was unable to compete in her favourite activities with friends.
“She goes to school but she has to be extremely careful. Recently she had two knee dislocations in eight weeks because of the way she has to walk,” said Dawn.
“She is the one who decided the amputation needed to happen, because she just wants to get back to being a child again.
The procedure will require a gruelling recovery period, including months of physiotherapy that could temporarily leave her wheelchair bound.
“After the operation she needs a lot of exercise to be able to walk again. We’re nervous. I’ve never gone through anything like this before.
“It’s all the added on things when she comes home too. What adaptations will we need for her?
“I know her wheelchair wouldn’t fit into the kitchen. I think we will need to make quite a lot of changes, and might even need to move house.
“That’d be terrible for us, we’ve only lived here for four years and we like it.”
“She’s brilliant. We find it amazing that she is going through all of this and she always tries to have a smile on her face. She has been researching all about amputees, and she follows someone on TikTok who is an amputee,” said Dawn.
Plans for Serenity to have a prosthetic leg mean she hopes she’ll be able to get bet to life sooner rather than later.
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“We’re just looking forward to her hopefully not being in pain though, and being able to enjoy things and be more independent.
“At the moment we have to constantly be with her in case she falls or is in too much discomfort. That’s no life for her at the moment. It’s heartbreaking.
“She’d love to wear proper girly shoes as well and can’t wait to see her in those.”