Decent Essays

Living with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is obviously challenging given the sparse medical knowledge of the disease. Within the first decade of a child’s life, patients will develop agonizing and inflamed soft tissue swellings in their back or neck. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva patients must be extremely cautious in their daily lives. Any minor trauma such as blunt muscle impacts, dental work, muscle fatigue, and influenza- like illnesses can cause painful flare-ups which expedites heterotopic ossification process for new bone growth. By the third decade of their lives, patients are usually confined to a wheelchair requiring lifelong assistance in daily activities (Taslimi, Jafarpour & Hassanpour, 2013). As fibrodysplasia …show more content…

Previous research by Kaplan in the Skeleton in the closest devoted an article on Harry Eastlack living with the disease. Harry Eastlack is the perfect example of unnecessary biopsies and surgical procedures that greatly exacerbated his condition. During Harry’s lifetime, he experienced eleven operations because doctors failed to focus on the connections between the heterotopic ossification and the malformation of the toes (Kaplan, 2013). He was born with malformed toes, yet it wasn’t until his leg was struck by a car at the age of five that caused the progression of the disease. After the car accident, the flare-ups began and formed heterotopic bone in his lower limb. As the disease advanced Harry was unable to function with normal daily activities and was moved to a nursing home. Figure 4 illustrates the progression of Harry Eastlack fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva throughout his life. Prior to his death he made a noble decision to bequeath his body and medical records to The Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians in Philadelphia for future generations to learn and study his disease (Kaplan 2013). Till this day, scientific researchers refer to his medical records as a guide to the disease. Although, Harry was never diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva during his life, his contribution has made a significate impact with the members of the fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva

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