Recommendations from our family, friends and coworkers have an outsized influence on our decisions. We may not always realize it, but the power that comes from someone you have close ties to either endorsing or warning against a product or restaurant can play a large role in what path we take as consumers. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers are more likely to believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising.

The Power of Recommendations

While slightly different, this word-of-mouth influence plays a significant role in our job here at the Paley Institute. No one can tell the story of the work we do better than the patients and families who come through our hallways, spend time with our staff and get the treatments they need. And, in the same token, for families seeking solutions to their complex medical problems, hearing from those facing similar situations who have experienced the work we do here can be invaluable as they weigh their decisions.

Olivia’s Story

This certainly played a role in the case of Olivia, a wonderful young child who was born with three toes on her right foot and a deformity in her ankle. She was diagnosed with fibular hemimelia, a condition in which the fibula bone doesn’t develop the way it should in the lower leg. The most common treatment for such a condition is amputation and a prosthetic limb.

Olivia’s family wanted to explore other options, and thanks to word of mouth, they were able to do just that. After hearing about Dr. Paley through a family member, they sought a second opinion.

“Before we even met Dr. Paley, Maria and I knew that we had come to the right doctor,” her parents said. “While waiting in the office for our appointment, we met numerous other families, coming from around the world, who relayed their tales of how Dr. Paley had changed their lives for the better.”

The rest is history: when Olivia was 18-months old she embarked on a complex treatment process that involved placing an external fixator on her leg and correcting her ankle issue with Dr. Paley’s own Super Ankle Procedure. It was a rousing success. In less than eight months, Olivia had the fixator and a cast removed and was able to play like any other two year old.

“Today she runs, jumps, climbs and acts just like most two-year-olds who do not have her condition,” her parents said. “And now, for the first time in her life, she has two legs that are the same length.”