Brendan’s Story

I’m Lynda, a mother of two sons aged 20 and 17. My first son, Brendan was born with bilateral talipes (it was not detected in prenatal scans). There is a hereditary link with a distant relative. We were naturally quite upset and concerned, but seeing his beautiful turned in feet, an instinct to do whatever it takes to not let this child be held back kicked in. I remember being told that he will have withered legs!!

I’m posting this to reassure other families that the ongoing treatment, while frustrating and tedious at times, is essential to a great outcome. Brendan was plastered at one week of age, changed every week until he had surgery on his stubborn left foot at 6 months to release the heel tendon. Although the surgery was a success, the temperature of the operating theatre was not correct for a baby, so from what we were told he was treated for hypothermia and it was an anxious wait. That should never have happened, so when he returned to have pins removed a week later, we were reassured that measures were in place to prevent this situation.

He wore db boots with the bar which he regularly kicked off. He was walking in half plastic boots with Velcro by his first birthday. We continued follow ups with his specialist, but from what I recall, treatment finished before he was two, with wearing his regular shoes on the wrong feet. The problem we had was keeping them that way – adults would go to change them over, but Brendan would tell them ‘no! doctor says this way’. Those little blue shoes are on a shelf and remind us how far we’ve come and how much he’s grown.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve provided a photo to see how his legs look no different to his mates – unless you’ve been told, you don’t really notice that the left calf is slightly narrower than the right. My son is no. 46 and Captain of his senior team! This boy has been and is the most sporty kid, receiving numerous awards in basketball, tennis, cricket and football. He’s one of the fastest runners in his team when doing the beep test. Talipes has not held him back in any way – if anything, the faint scar reminds him of how lucky he was to be born in this era and to have functioning feet.

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