In November of 1982, I was born with amniotic bands syndrome. It wasn’t anything that had been found prior to my birth as technology and medicine were far different back then from what they are now. Being that it was my mother’s first pregnancy, she didn’t notice any kind of reduction in fetal movement or anything that would have possibly caused alarm.
Amniotic bands affected all four of my limbs, both hands and both feet. On my left hand, my pointer and middle finger were webbed together; the remaining two weren’t webbed, though developed shy of the last knuckle and tip. There’s a slight bit of webbing between the ring and middle fingers and no fingernails on that hand except for my thumb and a tiny sliver of one on the under side of my middle finger.
On my right hand, the bands affected just my last two fingers. Both of those fingers were webbed together and stopped just at the first knuckle, though my right hand has all of the fingernails. My ring finger tip is still just a little round ball and you can see where the band had been restricting.
All the toes on my left foot minus the pinky toe are webbed and/or fused. For whatever reason, they were never separated. Like my middle finger on my left hand, what would have been my 4th toe has a tiny sliver of a nail just beneath the tip of the toe.. which also formed as a little ball. It’s webbed to the third toe by a thin strip of skin. My first three toes on that foot are all fused together, though there’s a small hole between what would have been the 2nd and 3rd toes.
My right leg never formed beyond about 6 inches below my knee. A band had cut off the circulation beyond that point and so all that remained was a ball of tissue and fluid. At three days old, my leg was amputated to remove the mass of flesh so that one day I would be able to were a prosthesis. My fingers were finally separated when I was around 6-9 months.
In spite of all the differences in my limbs, I’ve managed to overcome most any difficulties they’ve posed and prove that you can do anything that you put your mind to. As I share my experiences, I hope to be able to help others facing similar challenges and welcome any questions or comments. Be sure to check out the community forums to connect with others and for access to other ABS resources.