My name is Melissa. I live in Maine and I am 26 years old. I was born with ABS. Three of the five fingers on my right hand, two of five on my left hand and my entire left foot is affected. Back in 1980 when I was born, not much was known about ABS, I personally have spent much time in the last 16 years trying to find out more. Sadly however, still to this day, there is not enough talk about Amniotic Band Syndrome.
What amazes me, is how many doctors I have seen, in 26 years that are so fascinated with my stubbies! These are doctors that I’m having to educate about my condition, doctors!
I need to say that I was treated for 21 years of my life at the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, MA. The Shriners in my eyes are the absolute best people in the world! Still to this day if I need help finding a doctor that is familiar with or has at least heard about ABS, I can call them and they will help me find one in my area.
I have never met anyone else in my 26 years that suffers from ABS, and growing up that was extremely difficult, especially when I have a younger brother that was perfectly intact. Although my case isn’t very severe, it was just enough of a difference that I was different growing up. I am who I am today because of my stubbies! I am now married. I have two beautiful healthy little boys. Both with all ten fingers and ten toes. I am proficient on both the computer, typing 58 words a minute, and on the piano. So I guess all i have to say is to the parents out there, of children with any kind of difference, be it there mind or there physical self, your only different if you want to be. The biggest thing that a parent can teach a child in every situation but most especially for a child with ABS is that they can do whatever they put there minds too!
And to all the people that help these children and there families, I’d like to say from the bottom of my heart, as a child and now a women dealing everyday with what I do, THANK YOU! Sometimes it just takes that one special person to help make a child who is scared out of there wits feel more safe!. Thank you.