Tiffanie Didonato had dreams of driving a car, making coffee for herself, flipping light switches, things that most of us take for granted. Her short stature prevented her from living independently. But, thanks to a controversial surgery, she can do most of daily activities without needing any help.
Didonato, 27, is now 4 feet 10 inches tall. She says her height at age 15 was only three and a half feet.
"Kids were growing up a lot quicker. They were taller. It was easier to hold their book bags and walk down the hall, and I was basically the size of my book bag," she said to ABC News.
She was born with a condition called diastrophic dysplasia - a disorder of cartilage and bone development. People who have this disorder have short stature along with short arms and legs. They may even suffer from joint pain and joint abnormalities that restrict their movement.
Didonato says that a confrontation with her teacher at age 15 made her want to get the surgery done.
"She pulled me in the middle of the classroom, sat me on egg crates and said, 'I don't know what kind of disease you have, but obviously you're a dwarf. Why don't you tell me what you can and can't do?' I've never heard the word dwarf be called to me before in my life," Didonato said.
She underwent a surgery that increases a person's height by breaking their bones at specific locations. The bones are then held apart with the help of nuts and bolts. The bones grow at the locations, increasing the person's height.
Didonato says that she didn't undergo the surgery to enhance her looks but due to medical reasons and to be able to live independently.
"I didn't go through plastic surgery because I didn't like my face or something like that. I went through it for independence and that's the main goal. I was thinking ahead into the future. I wanted to get married. I wanted to drive," she told ABC News.
Didonato got married over the weekend to two-time Iraq War veteran Eric Gabrielse.
Published by Medicaldaily.com