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‘Just another battle scar’

By Sarah Nagem
snagem@salisburypost.com
Surgeries no longer faze Britany LaGasse. She’s had 21 of them, after all. The last one was June 3 at a hospital in Winston-Salem. Doctors uncurled the toes on her right foot and released tendons in her right knee and hip. They hope the result will give Britany better use of her leg.
These medical problems, and other ailments, started long before the September 2005 four-wheeler accident that left Britany partially paralyzed.
The 20-year-old was born with deformed feet, and her toes curled under.
Doctors released amniotic bands ó bands that wrap around a fetus and restrict development in the womb ó from her feet and toes.
To correct the deformities, doctors broke both her legs.
“I didn’t walk until I was 2,” Britany says.
Later, Britany developed scoliosis. When she was 7, doctors put rods in her back to straighten her spine.
That surgery was unsuccessful, so doctors tried again when she was 8. It worked.
But that wasn’t the end. When she was 15, Britany had surgery to straighten out her toes, although she hadn’t let the problem slow her down.
She was a cheerleader at Salisbury High, where she graduated in 2005. She did everything normal teenagers did.
Then she broke her neck the day after she graduated in a four-wheeler accident.
Her injuries required several more operations.
The surgery June 3 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will not be the last. Doctors plan to straighten the toes on her left foot, and they might release tendons in her left leg.
Wearing a cast while her right leg heals, Britany doesn’t worry.
“It’s just another battle scar,” she says.

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