A short man has gone to extreme lengths to increase his height by five inches by undergoing excruciating surgeries.
Moses Gibson, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, experienced “heightism” from a young age and his 5ft 5in frame saw him struggling to get a woman.
The 41-year-old tried out medication that promised to help him grow and even reached out to a “spiritual healer” in his pursuit of a taller figure.
He nearly gave up hope until he came across a painful procedure that involves breaking multiple bones.
Moses gained three inches after undergoing his first round of surgery in 2016 and now hopes to reach his goal height of 5ft 10in by June after undergoing a second surgery.
He’s spent a total of $160,000 on the intense procedures but says it’s all worth it after being unhappy for years.
Moses said: “I’ve struggled with height, I don’t know whether ‘heightism’ is what they call it, but being on the shorter side for men.
“Even when I was in high school, I was always unhappy with my height. As far back as when I was probably like 15, I realised most of my peers were taller than me.
“It started getting to me gradually. I just didn’t feel good about myself, I was unhappy about it most of the time.”
Moses said his height began affecting his confidence and dating life.
He added: “I used to like clothes and shoes, but I started not feeling happy when I put them on and I wanted to look better.
“It was my self-confidence in general, and with the ladies. It affected my dating life. I used to put things in my shoes to gain a little bit of height, but it wasn’t very much.
“People made comments. Sometimes it wasn’t in a mean way or intending to hurt, but they’d say ‘sh*t dude, you’re short man’ or make a joke of it.”
Moses decided he wanted to do something about his height and began searching for ways to grow, turning to some unusual methods.
He explained: “I’m a strong, tough guy, so I was never depressed about it but I went searching to see what I could do about it.
“I bought medication online that promised to make you the height you’re looking for. I took it for a while before realising it was nonsense and stopped it.
“I was talking to some spiritual healer online by e-mail who promised they could heal any problem. I tried talking to them to see if they could help but they just said ‘it all just depends on if you believe it’.”
With nothing working, a desperate Moses came across a procedure on the internet after starting college and decided straight away he wanted to go through with it.
Moses worked for three years as a software engineer in the day and an Uber driver at night to save up for the $75,000 for the first surgery, which took his height to 5ft 8in.
In March, he paid another $98,000 on a second surgery, which saw doctors break his tibia and fibula bones and screw magnetic, limb-lengthening nails into them.
Moses now has to use a height-lengthening device three times a day to pull the cut bone apart a millimetre at a time.
It works by encouraging the body to create new bone tissue to fill the gap until he finally reaches his desired height of 5ft 10in.
Explaining why he underwent a second surgery, Moses said: “After the first procedure, I was happy with it to some extent, but it was always in my mind that I wanted to do the second one to complete it.
“I’m a high achiever, I’m a go-getter so after the first one I thought, with all the heightism, I’ve got the money and I can finish the journey.
“I spoke with the doctor and asked for three more inches. He said after the second surgery it’s a bit more challenging, so two inches will be more reasonable.
“So I’m looking to go to 5’10. I’ll be happy at 5’10. If my body and everything else allows me to go three inches [5’11] then even better.”
After the four and half hour surgery, Moses said he was given “powerful” pain medication but admitted it was still “really painful” at times.
But the surgeries have helped to improve his confidence and ability to talk to women, and he’s even landed himself a new girlfriend.
“[After the first one] I became less hesitant and less worried about the result when talking to women. I now have a girlfriend,” he said.
He added: “I started wearing shorts and taking full body pictures which I never used to. It’s a crazy thing nobody should feel that way.”
Now Moses hopes the most recent surgery will finally make him feel “free”.