Imogen’s Story

Blog » Personal Stories » Talipes / Clubfoot

I was born with severe club foot in both feet in 1995. I was seen by my consultant (Dr Colin Ogilvie) within 24 hours of being born. Dr Ogilvie said he ‘hoped’ they would get me to walk but it was not guaranteed. For the first six months of my life Dr Ogilvie used the Ponseti method to correct my feet, plaster casting them three times a week. After six months I had my first operation and went on to have seven more as a baby.

Throughout my childhood, my parents never let my condition define me, ensuring I was active in any way I could be. From an early age my parents got me into swimming and my love for it quickly developed. The water was and still is my sanctuary, a place where my feet don’t hold me back. My enthusiasm and hard work in the swimming pool led to my feet and calves developing much better than expected.

Throughout my teenage years I had several more operations to continue correcting my feet. At the age of 16 I underwent surgery on both feet again to help straighten and flatten them as they had begun to claw up and in again. This meant being in a wheelchair for 3 months as well as learning how to walk again and feeling the bottom of my feet for the first time in years! Since then I have had a few more surgeries in my 20s to remove metal work.

Being active has always helped support and strengthen my body and feet and as I have got older I now gym regularly as well as continuing to swim. During the 2020 lockdown I decided to train for a 10km run. I have always enjoyed running despite it being something I was always told I shouldn’t do. I completed my 10km on World Club Foot day (June 3rd). Since then I have pushed myself more and more with my running, completing various fun runs and obstacle courses such as a ‘Tough Mudder’. This January (2024) I decided to challenge myself to running a half marathon which I knew would be a huge challenge and something I never thought possible but, I wanted to try. Throughout the training I struggled with foot and joint pain having to take time off to rest my feet but every time I ran a longer distance it felt so amazing to be achieving something we always thought impossible. On the 19th of May I completed the AJ Bell Great Bristol half marathon. It was a very emotional day and something I will always be immensely proud of.

Being born with club feet has taught me resilience and perseverance and I hope that my story can inspire others that anything is possible.