Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility The Pilot Who Was Born Without Arms | Dr. Moulton-Barrett
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We often take things for granted. This includes having all of our working limbs. Consider a recent article for the New York Post titled “Meet the 32-year-old pilot who was born without arms.”

Matt Young of the New York Post writes, “Jessica Cox can do almost anything with her feet. Pop a bottle of coke? Eat sushi? Apply mascara? Drive? Fly a plane, even? Yes, she can do it all. It’s just unlike most of us, she uses her toes. ‘It was adapting, because the arms and hands were not there I made a connection with my feet very early on. I explored the world with my toes and it just progressed to being my hand,’ she told ‘I pick up my phone and put it up to my shoulder without even thinking about it. It is difficult at times when I’m walking; the only problem is accessibility when I’m standing up. I’m always standing on one leg to do things with my right foot. My left foot and leg grounds me, if you were to look at my legs they’re pretty muscular’. The 32-year-old, from Tucson, Arizona, was born without arms. The technical term is ‘congenital amputee’, but she doesn’t see it that way ‘because I didn’t have arms to begin with’. They like to call it ‘differently-abled’. It’s estimated one in 2000 babies are born with ‘all or part of a limb missing, ranging from a missing part of a finger to the absence of both arms and both legs’. Most birth defects occur in the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs of the foetus are forming. But doctors didn’t know what caused Jessica’s condition, and to this day it remains a mystery. ‘My mum thinks back to her pregnancy, she had no idea. She didn’t take a single aspirin, she’s a nurse and very self-conscious of the development of the baby. She did everything right and yet this still happens.’ The 32-year-old is inspiring thousands across the globe; her story is really quite remarkable. She holds the title of the first person without arms to earn a black belt in ATA Martial Arts. Then there’s the Guinness World Record for being the first armless person in aviation history to earn a pilot’s certificate. That’s right, she can fly a plane. With her feet. With a passenger.”

Surgery is an option for many congenital limb deformities. Rex E. Moulton Barrett, M.D. is a surgeon you can trust for this procedure. Dr. Moulton-Barrett is board certified with The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Congenital limb surgery is done as a day procedure. The surgery for your child will be based on their exact condition. For more complex cases, it may require complex surgery. Surgery may involve carefully cutting through or around bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and other tissues to remove the extra digit. Then the surgeon may need to move or reconnect some structures before closing the skin so the whole hand or foot works well and looks normal.

If you are considering congenital limb surgery, contact us for a consultation.