A Whole New World

More than nine years ago we learned Big Cutie suffered a stroke in utero and had Cerebral Palsy as a result {you can read the full story here}.  About the same time, she started wearing her first DAFO leg brace and we believed she would wear one for the rest of her life.

And we’d all become pretty OK with that.

Until now.

Because its 2012 and in our very modern world with brilliant doctors and scientists and general smarty pants kind of people, there are really amazing things happening.

And this week, Our Girl had an appointment and didn’t get a leg brace, and instead received a Walk Aide.  Designed specifically for stroke patients, the device sends electric stimulation to specific muscles giving immediate feedback in her leg, essentially functioning as a leg brace but with a much smaller blueprint.

For about an hour, she walked back and forth with her device attached to a wireless unit, connected to a laptop.  The orthotist was able to read critical information about every step she took, and tweak the positioning of her leads to better move her foot into position.  I totally geeked out watching her foot move where it was supposed to each time the device “fired!”

Here is Big Cutie and Todd, our beloved Orthotist, who moved heaven and earth to make this all happen from a continent away for us!  We adore him and are very appreciative!

The Walk Aide will enable Big Cutie to have a LOT more flexibility in her movement and to sit more comfortably on the floor at school or while playing.

And in my 10-year-old daughter’s world, the grandest thing about the device is that it allows her to walk into a shoe store for the very first time in her entire life and simply choose a pair of shoes she liked and we bought them.

I shook handing the sales clerk my credit card, because as her Mom, I’d never done that either.  And for the second time in her life, I cried buying her shoes {the first time being the very first time I took her shoe shopping in a sweet little smocked dress with a matching hair bow and after three shoe stores, the only pair of shoes that fit over that first leg brace were pink and white leather Nike sneakers.  So not what I imagined}.

And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, Our Girl went and picked a pair of Toms.  It was a pretty lovely moment that her first pair of shoes she picked out meant someone, somewhere got a new pair of shoes, too.

Oh, happy day.

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15 Responses to A Whole New World

  1. Veronica says:

    Oh that just brought tears to my eyes! Congrats on the accomplishment!

  2. Deneige says:

    Love this story! 🙂

  3. gena says:

    How cool !!!!! Happy shoe shopping Cutie girl !


  4. msumissa says:

    Aww, what a wonderful day! So awesome!

  5. Michelle says:

    Well that brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations, what a wonderful day for you all!

  6. Angela says:

    Reading that gave me chills. SO happy for you and your sweet daughter.

  7. Lisa says:

    Im a long time lurker- and I wanted to tell you this post struck a cord with me. I wore a clunky back brace for over 6 years, and my mom and I both cried the first time we went shopping for clothes for my first day of high school… and brace free I could choose whatever I wanted!
    Thank gd for technology, and I am so happy for both of you!

  8. Suzanne says:

    I am a long-time reader and LOVE this post. The other parents in the JCC camp carpool line must think I am crazy because I am sitting in my car crying reading your post while I wait for my own cuties!

  9. pzlee says:

    What a tender experience! Hooray for modern science to make such a mother/daughter moment possible.

  10. kelly says:

    that is so awesome!!! hooray, and congratulations to big cutie!

  11. Cute Grandma says:

    What a wonderful for Cutie’s grandparents to see her in those beautiful new shoes. We are both crying tears of joy!! Love you all, Amma and Poppa J

  12. Melanie says:

    That is wonderful! Thank you for sharing such a special moment with us!

  13. Hayley says:

    OMG, can you send me info on this???? Can this possibly help me? I have never heard of this device! mousehousecreations (at) yahoo (dot) com!

  14. Aviva says:

    That is SO awesome! So happy for Big Cutie and her family! Mazel tov!

  15. Amanda says:

    How is the walk aide working for her? I’m desperately trying to get my Leah in to try it out!! I’d love to hear more about it…feel free to email me at Amandaloewenstern (at) yahoo (dot) com! Thanks! She looks great, love her Toms!! So cute!

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