Sister Wives’ star Maddie Brown and husband Caleb Brush were thrilled to discover they were pregnant with a second child, but their joy turned to worry upon learning the newborn’s sad diagnosis. Doctors warned the couple in advance of their baby’s birth that she would have a congenital anomaly known as oligodactyly, which results in less than five fingers on one hand (via People). Once their little girl, Evangalynn Kodi, was born, however, they discovered she was also missing a thumb, a toe, and one of her fibulas (or calf bones). Two of her fingers were also fused together, and she had a bowed tibia (or shinbone).

Little Evangalynn’s diagnosis then was updated to FATCO (aka fibular aplasia, tibial campomelia, and oligosyndactyly) syndrome, an incredibly rare genetic disorder that affects how a baby’s bones are formed while they’re in utero. There’s no known cause for FATCO and, because it’s so rare, the little girl’s future remains unclear. However, her parents have made at least one decision in relation to their daughter that’s causing controversy.

Maddie Brown waited until her daughter turned one to have the surgery

Brown took to social media to share that one-year-old Evangalynn, whose nickname is Evie, had undergone amputation surgery in August (via Instagram). The Sister Wives star explained, “Her surgeon laid the groundwork for her new foot and mobility it will bring, by way of a Boyd amputation. Another gave her some extra mobility in her hand, by clipping her webbing she had in her right hand.” The mother of two reassured followers that the little girl is “home and recovering beautifully.” 

Brown previously told People that she and Bush were waiting until Evie turned one before figuring out the best way to treat her condition. Judging by her post, the amputation surgery was part of her first birthday celebration. The Sister Wives star argued, “I want her to grow up and feel proud about who she is. If I’m hiding this to protect her, is it really helpful?”

Amputation surgery wasn't a decision the Sister Wives' star took lightly

However, although the little girl appears to be doing well, Brown and Bush have been subject to criticism from online followers over their decision to amputate. The Sister Wives’ star acknowledged on Instagram that she understands where people are coming from, and why they might be confused. She noted fans asked, “‘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?’ … I understand the questions, and at first glance, I would ask the same thing.”

The worried parents were intent on making a “dramatic difference” to their daughter’s life. Brown explained Evie is a unique case and had to be treated accordingly. “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,” she noted. Brown admitted she was ignorant of what amputation actually means in practice, but now understands that sometimes it’s simply about quality of life.

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