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The Girl with the Zebra Leg – A TSRHC Patient Story

Staff Tony Herring; former patient Patience Beard

Patience with TSRHC Chief of Staff Emeritus Dr. Tony Herring

As soon as Patience Beard was born, her parents knew she was special. They told her growing up that God had made her just the way she was supposed to be made, and that she could do anything – despite the fact that she had been born with proximal focal femoral deficiency, a rare birth defect that prohibited growth in one of her legs.

At the age of eight months old, it came time for her parents to make a decision: should they attempt multiple surgeries throughout her life in order to recover her leg or should they amputate it? Years later, Patience is grateful to her parents for the difficult decision they made to go to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children to have her leg amputated.

Once she reached seventh grade, she was comfortable enough using her prosthetic leg to try out for the cheerleading squad with the rest of her friends. It became her passion, and she was one of the best on the squad. There was nothing her prosthetic leg could keep her from doing.

As college soon approached, she decided she wanted to continue her love of cheerleading and audition for the University of Arkansas cheering squad. They told her beforehand that there would be no exceptions made and that if she could not perform as well as the other cheerleaders, she would not be chosen. She was accepted on the squad and felt proud knowing that despite her amputation, she was able to perform just as well as the others that auditioned.

Watch Patience’s inspiring story and learn more about the exceptional work done in TSRHC’s Prosthetics Department at www.tsrhc.org/prosthetics.

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