An Australian politician has gone to extraordinary measures to be taken seriously in the council chambers — she had her legs broken and stretched to become 3 inches taller.
Hajnal Ban, 31, a member of the Logan City local council in Queensland, Australia, underwent nine months of excruciating pain to become a “normal” 5-feet, 4-inches tall after years of insecurities about her height.
“A lot of young females have insecurities about their weight or their nose, mine was my height,” Ban told The Times Thursday.
She underwent the leg lengthening procedure eight years ago after being called a “midget” at school and fearing that her height would hamper her credibility as she delved into the legal profession and later into local politics.
The operation was carried out at the Ilizarov orthopaedic clinic in Russia, at a cost of $28,000. Surgeons broke both her legs in four places and stretched them slowly for 1 millimeter every day over nine months. In the end, she had grown from just under 5-feet, 1-inches tall to 5-feet, 4-inches.
“From the time I flew to Russia to the time I was able to wear high heels again was about a year in total, but at least nine months of that was excruciatingly painful,” she said.
The Ilizarov Clinic, in Kurgen, advertises as a scientific center for restorative traumatology. Ban said that she was one of the only people there at the time for cosmetic reasons, as many of the clinic’s other patients included people being treated for dwarfism, a hunched back, or deformed limbs.