Freaky Friday: Man with Size 16 Feet Seeking Amputation

Ortega shows how hard even standing can be with his over-sized feetJeffrey Ortega has a BIG problem, and he’s taken to online fundraising to get some help. You see, he suffers from Proteus Syndrome, a genetic mutation that causes overgrowth of skin, tissues and bones in isolated parts of the body.

In Ortega’s case, the disease has caused his feet to grow rapidly—his right foot is 14 inches long, his left is 12. Both are also badly swollen. The only shoes that fit him are size 16 Crocs.

To date, Ortega has had 11 foot surgeries, all done in attempts to stem the growth and stop his almost-constant pain.

Finally, it seems, he’s had enough: he’s decided to have his left foot amputated, and is raising funds on GoFundMe to underwrite the cost of the procedure:  "I had to face the facts that because of the pain in my foot and all the rogue skin on the bottom of my feet that constantly get infected I need to have my foot amputated. The doctors who could help me amputate my foot cannot help me with it because of the financial issues that I face," he wrote.

Apparently, Ortega faces about $42,000 in expenses, which will go towards the surgery, prosthetics and physical therapy. To date, he has raised $15,000. I wish him the best of luck on his terribly sad journey.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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