I'd like you to meet Amelia, our featured Superhero this week.
The Superhero Project is a personal project I'll be doing for children with special needs. I was inspired by my friend Renee at Little Earthling Photography. The goal of the Superhero project is to have these children see themselves as the strong, amazing individuals they are.
We first met Amelia 4 years ago at the annual Shriner's Hospital Christmas party here in Cape Girardeau. She was the youngest patient at the party.
I asked her mom, Varina, to tell us a little bit about Amelia.
Amelia was born in July of 2009. Immediately it was pressumed she had Bi-lateral hip displaysia (both hips dislocated). At 2 weeks of age it was confirmed. By the time Amelia was 12 months old, in 2010, she had undergone 3 hip procedures. Bi-lateral closed reduction of the hips and Bi-lateral open reduction of the hips (each hip was done 2 weeks apart). In the fall of 2010, fresh out of her cast she suffered a broken femur of the left leg.
"I'm Amelia the Super Hero and I can FLY!"
And yes, she was still flying!
In November of 2010, over the Thanksgiving holiday, Amelia was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She is insulin dependent.
In March of 2011 Amelia underwent a femural osteotomy of the right hip, due to it not wanting to stay in place. She currently has a surgical plate and screws in her right leg.
In August of 2012 she suffered HUS ( hemalytic uremic syndrome). It was/is believed that she contracted an ecoli infection (food bourne) which shut her kidneys down. She was hospitalized for 1 month and received hemodialysis for 9 days and received 4 blood and 2 platelet transfusions.
In 2013 it was discovered that Amelia suffered from bladder reflux which caused her to have chronic bladder infections. This year, June, on a trip to the east coast, Amelia became ill and was hospitalized for 10 days. They never found what made her sick but discovered that she suffers from an immunoglobulin difficency which means she can get sick everytime something goes around. And when she gets sick she has the potential to become "hospital sick".
She is facing yet another hip surgery in her future, first to remove the plate and screws and also to undergo a pelvic osteotomy to deepend her hip seats.
This was right after she tried to tell me there was a snake crawling up my reflector.
Amelia has made strides. She has been walking for 2 1/2 years. She has started riding at Mississippi Valley Therapeutic Horsemanship in Oak Ridge this past winter and spring. She is one of the most cheerful children I have ever known. I know for sure she is my hero!