A short man has gone to great measures to gain five inches in height by enduring painful procedures.
Moses Gibson, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, suffered from “heightism” from an early age, and his 5ft 5in stature made it difficult for him to find a wife.
In his quest for a taller figure, the 41-year-old tried drugs that promised to help him grow and even consulted a “spiritual healer.”
He was about to give up hope when he discovered a painful technique that requires breaking many bones.
Moses gained three inches following his first round of surgery in 2016, and he now expects to reach his ideal height of 5ft 10in by June following a second surgery.
He’s spent a total of $160,000 on the invasive treatments, but he believes it’s all worth it after years of being unhappy.
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 stated that his height began to have an impact on 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’.”
Moses worked as a software engineer during the day and as an Uber driver by night for three years to save up for the $75,000 first surgery, which increased his height to 5ft 8in.
In March, he paid an additional $98,000 for a second surgery in which physicians broke his tibia and fibula bones and inserted magnetic, limb-lengthening nails.
Moses must now use a height-enhancement equipment three times each day to pull the severed bone apart a millimetre at a time.
It works by stimulating the body’s production of new bone tissue to cover the gap until he reaches his goal 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.”
Moses said he was given “powerful” pain medicine after the four and a half hour procedure, but it was still “really painful” at points.
However, the procedures have improved his confidence and ability to communicate with women, and he has even found himself a new partner.
“[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”.
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