“My Foot Is Going To Jesus In A Purple Coffin” – 4-Year-Old Girl Says

With those words, Elnye Potgieter, 4, made peace with the fact that her left foot had to be amputated because of a rare bone disease, said report.Her left leg has broken five times as a result of the disease and is 5cm shorter than the other leg.

A wrong diagnosis had initially been made, but a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Denise Potgieter, last week identified it as Ollier’s disease.

Elnye Potgieter's foot has to be amputated. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Elnye Potgieter

It is a rare disease that affects only one in 100 000 people.

Non-malignant cartilaginous tumours have developed near her leg’s growth plates, leaving her left leg severely malformed. Her hip and knee are permanently turned out.

The paediatrician recently broke Elnye’s leg so that her shortened shin and knee could face forward again.

As soon as the leg has healed properly, the foot will be amputated.

“Lengthening the leg had been an option,” said Potgieter, “but I didn’t think it would be viable.”

Elmarie, Elnye’s mom, had to prepare her for what was to come.

“I told her that her foot was very ill and had to go to Jesus.”

“Daddy, my foot is going to Jesus.”

She agreed, on one condition.

“OK Mamma, but it must be in a purple coffin.”

Purple is her favourite colour.


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