A 5ft 5in man, Moses Gibson, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, has undergone an excruciatingly painful leg surgery to increase his height.
Moses said he experienced “heightism” from a young age, and as he grew older, he struggled to get a woman because of his height.
According to him, he had been insecure about his height since the age of 15 after he saw other boys his age go through growth spurts, which he didn’t experience.
The young man, who’s now in his early 40s, admitted to having to deal with unkind comments about his size and this affected his “self-confidence.”
Desperate for a solution, Moses 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.
The 41-year-old spent a total of $160,000 on the intense procedures but says it’s all worth it after being unhappy for years.
“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. 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.
“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’.” He said.
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.
He 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.
On 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.”