Grateful for My Life-Changing Surgeries

Picture of Lexi Hack and her dogLexi Hack is a senior at Glenelg High School. She completed her fifth, and hopefully last, surgery for the correction of her leg alignment this past April. Here she shares her medical journey and work with the Save-A-Limb Fund nonprofit.

As a baby and toddler, I sat and crawled in a “W” position with my legs behind me. My parents noticed something was not right with my legs when I was about 2 years old. They told me how they took me to two doctors in Florida, where I was born, and two doctors in Maryland, where we moved when I was about 4. All the doctors said I was fine, I’d grow out of it, and there was nothing to do as it was normal for kids under 8 to be a little “bow legged.” I would complain that I had a lot of knee pain, my back would hurt, and I couldn’t run like the other kids. I was then seen by another doctor around the time I was 8. She said I did, in fact, have knee problems and performed surgery on both knees. This did not fix the pain, help me walk straight or run while playing sports. I went through years of physical therapy and acupuncture to try and reduce the pain, but nothing seemed to help.

As I entered middle school and then high school, I found I no longer could play my favorite sport, field hockey, as I would trip because my knees would hit each other. I was sent to another knee doctor who said “give up field hockey. You’ll never be able to play.” I was devastated. I bawled my eyes out in his office. He just walked out and that was that. Then, through a friend of my mom’s, we found Dr. John Herzenberg at Sinai Hospital. He told me he could make me have straight legs! My pain would diminish considerably, if not 100 percent. My hope for a new life was about to begin.

He needed me to have a special study done before he would do the surgery. This is standard practice because he needs to know the exact alignment of my bones. The cost for the study was more than my family could afford. Insurance wouldn’t pay for it, so we didn’t know what to do. Herzenberg found a way to help through the Save-A-Limb Fund at Sinai Hospital. It’s a fund designed to help people who do not have the financial resources to handle expenses not covered by insurance. It helps with testing, walkers, prosthetics, research and so much more.  WE WERE ECSTATIC!!

Now that all of the surgeries are completed and successful, I have made it my goal to repay Save-A-Limb, which allowed me to have these life-changing surgeries. My Faith in the Flowers T-shirts are available at The Maryland Store and Bowman’s Home & Garden, both in Westminster, MD. Also, the Save-A-Limb Fund Fest is on September 24 at Oregon Ridge Park. There are different choices for mileage bike rides and walks, along with games and food for the whole family. I would love to see you all there! For more information, you can visit my Save-A-Limb Fund Fest team page.

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