Jessica entered the world on February 29th, 1992, and though she now lives in Baltimore, Maryland, she was born thousands of miles away.
When Jessica was born in Bratsk, Russia, she was diagnosed with fibular hemimelia. Fibular hemimelia is a birth defect that results in knee deformities, feet deformities, and shortened limbs.
Sometimes with fibular hemimelia, the fibular bone doesn’t grow to the full length in utero, and sometimes this bone is just missing completely.
Fibular hemimelia is an extraordinarily rare birth defect, and experts aren’t quite certain why it occurs in the first place.
It’s thought that one cause might be if an embryo experiences some sort of trauma, while another potential cause is if a pregnant woman catches a viral infection.
Following Jessica’s birth, her teenage parents realized they weren’t equipped to care for her special needs, so they placed her up for adoption.
A couple from Baltimore was delighted to be able to adopt Jessica, and so Steven and Beth Long took her home. They also adopted another child from the Russian orphanage she was in.
Instagram; Jessica is pictured above