A man who suffered a botched circumcision operation when he was a small boy has achieved medical history by becoming the first person to conceive a child with a reconstructed penis.
Mike Moore, 30, from Mississippi and his wife become the proud parents of young Memphis six months ago.
For Moore, who had spent years fighting depression and witnessed his first marriage collapse as a consequence, the birth of his first child was something that for a long time he didn’t think would ever happen.
‘The one thing I wanted most in this world was a family, and I didn’t think it was going to happen – to have kids, to have a wife who loves me for who I am. It wasn’t going to happen, not to me,’ Moore told SF Gate.
‘Then on Oct. 4, 2013, we had Memphis, and I love that little boy with all my heart,’ he said.
The family recently travelled 2,200 miles from their home in rural Mississippi to Palo Alto, California, to proudly introduce young Memphis to the surgeon who had done so much to change Moore’s life for the better.
Dr. Gordon Lee, specializes in reconstructive plastic surgery at Stanford Medical Center, and successfully operated on Moore in 2007.
‘His story is, as far as I know, a first in the world for a totally reconstructed penis to go and have a baby,’ Dr Lee told NBC Bay Area.
When Moore was just seven years old doctors discovered he had an infection that was preventing him from urinating properly.
A routine circumcision was advised, but the procedure was botched and doctors were forced to amputate.
Bullied at school for being different, Moore fell into a deep depression and suffered low self-confidence.
Then seven years ago, he met Dr. Lee after his uncle saw a news story about the surgeon’s work.
Moore had already undergone three failed attempts at reconstruction surgery, but after speaking with Dr Lee, he decided to give it another go.
The doctor was able to successfully reconstruct Moore’s penis using tissue from his thigh. It was only the second time Lee had ever performed the surgery.
Even then Moore’s troubles weren’t immediately solved. He first marriage broke down not long after the surgery.
‘She (his first wife) couldn’t even deal with the sight of what it looked like after Dr. Lee repaired it,’ said Moore. ‘That was a major contribution to her leaving as well.’
‘She accepted me for who I was, and not for what was wrong with me,’ said Moore. ‘She continues to this day to assure me that there’s nothing wrong.’
The couple soon married, and decided to try for a baby.
After so many medical procedures, Moore had wanted to do it naturally, but after several months without success they visited a fertility doctor in early 2013.
He recommended artificial insemination using Moore’s sperm and a month later they were celebrating Heather’s pregnancy.
Memphis’ parents now dress their little son in Superman gear – even down to shoes adorned with little red capes – because he is their little miracle.
‘I bought him Superman stuff because I knew he was a miracle,’ said Moore, who typically wears a matching shirt. ‘I love the symbol.’
After all the bad times, Moore is happy to share his story to give hope to others who have abandoned faith that their lives could ever be ‘normal.’
‘If the story can help anybody, I want anybody who had to go through what I went through to know it’s possible to have a child,’ he said.
The couple are currently planing for another child and are hoping for a girl this time.
Sources: Daily Mail