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Anthony Jr. DeMonaco

Baldwin, NY
  • Anthony Jr. DeMonaco in the photo 1
  • Anthony Jr. DeMonaco in the photo 2

I was born 2 1/2 months early, weighing 2lbs. 6 oz. Because of my premature birth, my lungs were not fully developed and they were filled with fluid, depriving me of oxygen. At 1 year of age, doctors discovered that I had cerebral palsy, affecting my legs and thus my walking. I walked on my toes. I wore leg braces initially only at night, then eventually full time for 2 years. With no improvement in my condition, the doctor suggested that my parents bring me to HSS. They took the doctor's advice and that was the beginning of my long awaited transformation.

My first surgery was at 7 years of age. My ankles were cut and the achilles tendons were stretched or lengthened. This seemed to help for a while but I ultimately went back to walking on my toes. At 10 years of age, the HSS doctors decided to redo one of the ankle surgeries but they added a procedure to stretch both hamstrings. This surgery CHANGED my life. I wore thigh-high casts for 6 weeks afterward. Once the casts were gone, I was literally off and running, just like any other normal 10 year-old boy.

I can't thank HSS enough for the knowledge and dedication they showed in changing my life and helping to make me the man I am today.