'Sister Wives' star Maddie Brown Brush defends baby daughter's foot amputation

In the days after her 1-year-old’s recent surgery, the reality TV star has faced questions and criticism.
'Sister Wives' star reveals daughter had amputation
Maddie Brown Brush and her daughter, Evie.madison_rose11 / Instagram

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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

It’s been a week and a half since “Sister Wives” star Maddie Brown Brush shared her daughter’s big news on Instagram: 1-year-old Evangalynn Kodi, who was born with a rare genetic condition, underwent an amputation that will hopefully improve her mobility.

But the mom soon learned that her followers had a lot to say about the surgery to remove Evangalynn’s foot, and not all of it was sympathetic and encouraging.

In an update that accompanied a new photo of her little one, Brush explained that she's faced questions about the procedure, some asking whether it was necessary at all.

"‘You cut her foot off?’ ‘If she was functional, why did you amputate?’ ‘Wait, where is her foot?’ ‘Was it really necessary to cut her foot off?’ These are all questions I have received since Evie's Surgery,” the 24-year-old wrote in the Instagram caption.

But Brush welcomed the inquiries and said she even related to the confusion.

“I understand the questions and at first glance, I would ask the same thing,” she added.

Evangalynn, who goes by Evie, was born with fibular aplasia, tibial campomelia and oligosyndactyly syndrome, also known as FATCO syndrome. As a result, some of the bones in her extremities did not fully develop.

Doctors and Evie’s parents decided that a Boyd amputation was the best course of action. According to the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, the procedure serves as “an effective treatment for various conditions of the lower extremity."

“Evie's left Tibia bone, along with the bowing it had, was also about a 1/3 shorter than her right,” Brush continued. “When she's little it's not super noticeable unless closely looked at. As she grows though, we were looking at the possibility of a dramatic difference.”

But Brush clarified that it wasn't the family's only option.

“Some families and people opt for a lengthening surgery, but Miss Evie's difference was in the grey area of if that was even possible or not,” she wrote. “With at least 4 major surgeries and the possibility of having to amputate in the end, we chose a Boyd amputation. This was not a light-hearted decision, we spent the better part of the last year educating ourselves, talking to doctors, prosthetists, other families, and other amputees as we came to the decision we did.”

The amputation was one of two recent surgeries for Evie. Doctors also clipped the webbing in one of her hands, which was limiting her movement.

“Before Evie, I classified amputees as one category,” Brush concluded her update. “You amputated because there was no way of saving the limb. I think that goes along with #limbdifference education. Sometimes it's about quality of life. Due to this, I wanted to give a more in-depth explanation and answer all at once. I hope it will all bring awareness to a part of the #limbdifference world.”

Viewers of TLC’s “Sister Wives” know Brush as the daughter of Kody and Janelle Brown. Brush and her husband, Caleb, also share a 3-year-old son, Axel James.