A young woman who was born with a painful club foot made the drastic decision to have her leg amputated - so she could wear high heels for the first time.
Born with her left leg painfully twisted Mariah Serrano, 21, was told by doctors that her condition meant she would never wear high heels or be able to pursue her dream job in fashion.
Determined, Miss Serrano, from New York, decided to have the lower half of her leg surgically removed and replaced with a prosthetic limb.
She said: ‘It was hard to get used to [high heels], but even girls without foot and leg problems have to learn to wear heels for the first time. I've never felt so glamorous or empowered.
‘When I was told I'd never be able to wear high heels and I should give up my dream career, I was devastated.
In most cases, club foot is corrected in childhood by bracing or surgery but by the time Miss Serrano was 16-years-old her condition remained despite enduring five operations.
Miss Serrano said: ‘I was sick and tired of wearing leg braces. Because one foot was much smaller than the other, shoes were a real issue.
In April 2009 she saw a specialist who talked her through the options for amputation.
She said: ‘For the first time I began to think I could actually go through with it, but I was still terrified.
‘It wasn't until I read an article about my favourite designer Alexander McQueen, who'd made a pair of prosthetic legs for the athlete Aimee Mullins that I knew what I had to do.
The woman underwent the surgery in the summer of 2009 and post-surgery there were some early-stage complications as the wound struggled to heal which led to moments of regret.
By the winter the wound had improved and she was given her first pair of heels as a gift by her mother Patricia, father Emilio, sisters Isabella and Fiona and brother Mason.
She said: ‘They were white basket woven Alice + Olivia platform wedges. As I teetered around the living room wearing them I knew I'd done the right thing.
Shortly after her operation Miss Serrano landed a job at top fashion label Betsey Johnson.
She now works as a social media manager in the fashion industry and owns 10 pairs of high-heeled shoes.
She said: ‘Choosing to have my leg cut off was the hardest thing I've ever done. I still wake up sometimes and wonder where it is.
‘I've lept out of bed, forgetting that I don't have my leg, and have fallen over. It's still something I'm getting used to.
‘I've learned not to take my prosthetic too seriously. My friends are always joking around with my fake leg.