Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Schoolboy looks forward to life with 10 fingers, 10 toes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 18th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Seven-year-old Gabe Park is bright-eyed and full of fun. He has a new chance at a normal life after being born with 12 fingers and 12 toes. Thanks to surgery, he has the normal number of digits - a good thing, as his doctors said he would have had a difficult time walking with the two extra toes.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Little Gabe, from England, is now hoping to join the RAF when he's older.

Born with polydactyly, Gabe inherited the genetic condition from his late father, Kevin. His father also had the same number of extra fingers and toes in the same position.

The lad from Millom, Cumbria, underwent major operations when he was a baby to remove his extra digits. The extra toes and fingers were located between his thumb and first finger and between his big toe and second toe.

Now able to walk and use his hands, the condition left his feet far wider than average - which presents a challenge when his 40-year-old mother Shirley goes shopping for shoes for him.

Gabe, an active little gentleman who loves sports, has to be fitted every few months with bespoke prescription shoes, He also attends appointments at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle to have his feet measured.

Park has been told her son may face more surgery in the future. His big toes are growing out from his feet rather than straight.

Gabe underwent his first surgery to remove the extra finger from his left hand in February 2006. Doctors repeated the procedure in July of the same year to his right hand.

He then had both legs operated on in October 2007 and spent a month with his legs bandaged as he recovered. His extra toes could have affected his balance while walking.

"The operations were partly for aesthetic reasons but doctors said the toes could grow over each other like when you cross your fingers and that could cause major problems," his mother says.

Mrs. Park recalls the time she met Gabe's father, Kevin in Kosovo in 2002 when she worked for the U.N. as an IT network administrator and he was seconded by the Ministry of Defense police.

"Kevin told me about how he'd had surgery when he was a young boy as he had extra fingers and toes, and when I became pregnant I knew my children could have with the same condition because it was genetic.

"When Gabe was born and we saw he was just like his dad, it made him even more special."

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)