Proteus Syndrome; A woman with giant legs

August 20th, 2008 - 2:32 pm ICT by Bupha Ravirot  

Mandy Sellars, from Accrington, Lancs, has been living with difficulties dragging her giant legs around which keep on expanding since she was born – without being told what causes her legs huge, the doctor said her only option is a drastic amputation.

Mandy Sellars has hugely outsized legs, over 4 times bigger than normal woman leg that make her living normal life difficult throughout 33 years. Embarrassment when people stare, point and laugh even made it harder for her to survive but she got through that.

“And people can be very cruel. I was in a park a few months ago when a group of teens started pointing at me, they were saying to each other, ‘Look at the size of her legs.’ Mandy said.No wonder why most of the people people stare. Mandy’s legs are wider than the average man’s waist and heavier than most women, while her body is still small.

Her left leg is five inches longer than her right and has a clubfoot, which has turned 180 degrees backwards. She says: “I weigh about 20 stone – 15 of which are my legs.”

“I don’t mind curiosity – it’s the laughing and nudging that gets to me. ” added she.

Mandy described how she manage with the difficulties of her daily life routine;

“I use an electric wheelchair when I go out,” says Mandy.

“I live alone and what takes the average person half an hour takes me an hour, if not longer. Just getting dressed in the morning is a mammoth task.

“By the time I go into the kitchen to get breakfast, I can be exhausted. I can’t just pop to the shops, it all has to be planned.”

Mandy never have had a firm diagnosis, but it could be linked to Proteus syndrome, which causes abnormal skin and limb growth. John Merrick, the Elephant Man, is believed to have had it.

Mandy spent her childhood life as other kids do. She learnt how to ride a bike, go to school and college and hang out with her peers. After college Mandy went to the University of Central Lancashire where she gained a BSc in psychology. As her legs get heavier they’ll put a strain on her heart and internal organs.

TV production company contacted Mandy and said it wanted to make a documentary about her life, and take her to meet US specialists, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.

She met US renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr William Ertl and prosthetic whizz Kevin Carroll. They worked together on many challenging cases. This gives her hope not to go for amputation.

Extraordinary People – The Woman With Giant Legs, is going to be aired on Thursday (August 21), at 9pm .

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