CAREER & FAMILY
Suzanne Huston was born in 1946 and raised in the desert community of Imperial, California. The daughter of an army officer and a schoolteacher, Suzi moved to San Diego to attend college, where she met Bill Jakaitis, her future husband. Suzi has had three children, Jason, Tyler and Stefanie, and has committed herself to elementary school education for three decades.
Suzanne was born with a congenital hip displacement – known as hip dysplasia, a separation of the hip’s ball and socket – that went unnoticed by doctors until after her first birthday. The bones hardened while unaffixed, resulting in a pronounced limp and lifetime of discomfort and medical procedures. Suzi has spent her life alternating between crutches, a wheelchair, and freestanding mobility.
Doctors’ early efforts to make the socket functional were of the “external” variety: braces, weights, casts. When Suzi was five, doctors performed their first invasive attempt to correct the socket alignment. She has undergone twenty-four surgeries since that point, including five complete hip replacements and two knee replacements.
Suzi’s left leg and hip are a battleground of crisscrossing scars. Her buttocks are asymmetrical and her feet have warped under the pressure of her awkward gait. Recent falls have resulted in a reconstructed left arm, shoulder and right wrist. She continues to battle a ‘supervirus’ staph infection stemming from a pelvic allograft – the transplanting of a cadavers bone material into a living subject.
Presently, Suzi is freestanding, mobile and working part-time as a literacy coach.