The love between a father and his daughter is pretty unique. You may remember the story from a few years back of Emily Heaton asking her father, Jeremiah, if she could be a princess. Her intrepid father found a way to make it happen. First, he found Bir Tawil, unclaimed land between Egypt and Sudan.
His family designed a flag, and he flew to Europe, then to Africa. Next, he drove hundreds of miles to Bir Tawil and planted the flag at the top of a hill. He named the land the Kingdom of North Sudan with himself as the sovereign, thereby making his daughter Princess Emily.
A heartwarming tale, no doubt. But Ali Ihsan Yildirm is doing just as much, if not more, for his daughter Özge, whose leg was mistakenly amputated because doctors believed she had protein C deficiency.
Just days after Özge was born, doctors at the hospital diagnosed her with protein C deficiency. Due to the complications they believed would result, doctors amputated her left leg. After the surgery, tests revealed that she did not have the rare genetic disorder that can cause life-threatening blood clots to form.
Özge would need physical therapy to learn to walk with a prosthetic when she was older. However, her family was not able to send her to these appointments due to financial issues. Her father decided to take matters into his own hands. He used his skills as an aluminum worker to build a device in their home that would hang from the ceiling and would allow her to learn to walk.
It was successful. Özge can now stand, walk, and even run without the aid of her father’s invention. Moreover, her father fought with the hospital and finally filed a lawsuit to make sure that the doctors who mistakenly diagnosed his daughter would be punished.
The hospital in the southern Turkish province of Antalya is going one step further. At the urging of President Erdoğan, Dr. Ömer Özkan is talking to the family of the possibilities of giving Özge a leg transplant. Nothing is decided yet, but maybe one day in the future, Özge will run around on two living legs.