Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rachel's First Steps

Rachel got her orthotic/prosthetic leg!
It looks like this:

For those who haven't followed her story, Rachel has pseudoarthrosis of the tibia secondary to neurofibromatosis-1. Her lower left leg was broken in infancy and is 5 inches shorter than her right. She underwent a half-dozen failed surgical attempts to repair the leg before she came into our care in February 2009.

We were thrilled when her ortho surgeon suggested this orthotic/prosthetic, which will allow her to walk on two feet and give her more time to decide whether she wants to have the lower part of her leg amputated or to undergo a very involved and painful surgical limb salvage and lengthening process. Rachel was so happy when she heard she could be walking without her crutches--and without surgery!

Here's Rachel at the orthotist's trying on her new leg for the first time:

She's up! Only a few tears!

Rachel walked a few steps with support at the orthotist's, but there wasn't much room in his little workshop/office, so she couldn't practice much there. The next day we bought her a school shoe to fit the prosthesis and went back to the guesthouse to try it out.

Here's a video of Rachel's first attempt to walk on two feet with no one's assistance:


We're all so quiet because it's late at night and we're in a public guesthouse, but it was a pretty exciting event and we all just wanted to cheer!

Since then, the orthotic's been adjusted a bit and she gets around even better.

Rachel felt even more confident and walked better pushing Aaron in the wheelchair. It's always so nice to see a child who's always needed a wheelchair move around to the back and push one for the first time! I'm sure Aaron won't be far behind her in achieving this!


Thanks so much for loving and praying for Rachel. It's such a joy to see her confidence grow!


Nikolyn said...

wow! what a strong and courageous and beautiful child! Tell Rachel her Auntie Niki in the US is walking much the same since I hurt my foot. Seriously, I walk just like her today! Give her big kisses for me and tell her I am so very proud of her! thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Sarah said...

Oh, Rachel! I just love, love, love that girl! Good job, sweetheart! And thank you, Sarah, for making this happen!


Anonymous said...

What a brave, beautiful child! Giving thanks.
-- Liz in MN

Anonymous said...

This is so incredible. It brings me so much seeing all these children. They would not be where they are today had you not listened to and followed God's calling. So proud of you, Sarah!

Brianna W.

Erin said...

That is the coolest thing ever! She looks fantastic walking.

Alexandra {{Awareness Warrior}} said...

Praise the Lord! I am so happy to see this; my eyes filled with tears of joy! I think seeing those videos is especially joyous for me, who has experienced not being able to walk, and then learning to walk (with the help of orthotics, too, albeit a very different kind). Oh, I am so happy for her. I have never met Rachel, or any of the SCH kids, but I love them all very much, and my heart leaps when I read and watch news like this. I am so happy for them, and I am so grateful to you and all the people who made it possible. So many people try to ignore the Lord's voice, but you listened and just look what is happening! Praise the Lord!

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