Stunted Growth - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/5/07

Stunted Growth

A family has taken what is believed to be an unprecedented move, surgery on their child to keep her small and easier to manage through the years.

The nine year old, known as Ashley, is severely disabled. She can't walk, talk or eat. We don't know where she lives only that the parents have just been revealed on the family's web site that a procedure two years ago removed the girl's uterus and her breast buds so she will never menstruate or develop breasts.

Doctors at Seattle's Children's Hospital gave her high doses of Estrogen ensured to keep her at 4'5" and about 79 pounds for the rest of her life. 

"The parents really had two choices in front of them one was to keep the child at home if she remained small  or to institutionalize the child because they couldn't take care of her anymore," said Dr. Michael Kalichman, of the University of California, San Diego.

Many sympathize with the parents. But others argue the child's destiny should be designed by God not her doctors. It is believed that without the treatment, Ashley would have grown to about five feet six and 125 pounds.

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