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A congenital condition is one that is present from birth. A congenital limb deficiency (also called limb reduction) occurs when a limb doesn’t form correctly during pregnancy. This can cause a limb deformity—when the arm or leg is crooked, shortened, or bowed rather than straight.

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A congenital condition is one that is present from birth. A congenital limb deficiency (also called limb reduction) occurs when a limb doesn’t form correctly during pregnancy. This can cause a limb deformity—when the arm or leg is crooked, shortened, or bowed rather than straight.

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Jessica's Story

Jessica Chou always knew she was different. There was no lightbulb moment or sudden realization, she just knew that her cleft palate made her unique.

“I knew since childhood that I was different somehow; I always had to see doctors, I got braces when I was very young, and I had to get surgery at several points in my life,” says Jessica, now 21. When Jessica was born, her mother was referred to Dr. Wilson at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC).

“There was a small problem because of the language barrier, but Dr. Wilson and her staff at the hospital were very patient, kind and understanding when explaining everything to her,” Jessica says. “She feels lucky that she was referred to such a wonderful team.”

Jessica, now a Psychology major at the University of California at San Diego, also feels lucky to have found Dr. Wilson, who takes a personal interest in her patient’s progress.

“She offers suggestions for additional surgeries or asks me if there is anything else I would like improved. She informs me very thoroughly about what the upcoming surgery is for, and how everything will eventually play out in the end,” Jessica says. “And of course, every suggestion of hers that I have followed comes out looking great.”

Over the years, Dr. Wilson and the staff at OIC have become a second family to Jessica, who says her confidence today is because of them.

“I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me,” she says. “I could not even imagine what my life would be like without getting treatment.”