Xia has been with Dew Drops Little Flower since she was just 2 weeks old. She was a tiny little baby that was born with and likely abandoned because she has arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis is just a fancy word meaning that Xia was born with reduced mobility of several of her joints due to contractures which is the shortening and tightening of tendons and muscles. The contractures cause the affected joints to be stuck, in Xia’s case, in a flexed position. Xia had multiple joints that were affected by these contractures including her feet, hips, elbows, wrists and fingers. The contractures in her two middle fingers on both hands were so bad that they were always pressed tightly into her palm.
She came to Dew Drops Little Flower to correct her feet and legs through a series of casts and braces. To help her elbows, wrists and fingers, her caregivers were taught to gently stretch and massage them with the goal of improving the contractures. We also occasionally placed splints on her wrists and fingers to gently help the joints stay in the right position. This therapy was not very pleasant for little Xia and often she would fuss and cry as her tiny fingers were slowly and gently stretched a little further each day.
Learning to use their hands is a big task for any baby. How often do we watch them chase a cheerio around their highchair tray for 10 minutes, finally pick it up and then drop it when they are trying to find their mouths? When she first came to us we weren’t sure if Xia would ever be able to pick up a cheerio. But faithful therapy a few times a day provided by her care givers helped to improve the contractures in her fingers. They are still a bit limited in their movement but this week Xia proved that she is unlimited in her patience and perseverance! She was able to pick up some cereal and feed herself! It took a lot of effort, intense concentration and much trial and error, but she did it! Hurray Xia Xia! We at Dew Drops Little Flower are so proud of Xia and the progress she has made in the 17 months that she has been with us!
Xia can use her hands because of the specialized care she received at Dew Drops Little Flower. If you would like to be part of Xia’s continuing story, please consider sponsoring her here.