Miss ND’s surgery
On the 20th of December 2018 Miss ND had her deep tissue release surgery and requested that I be there as support with Mum, Dad, and Isabelle (the expat French lady who coordinated the donations from expats to help make this possible).
We waited for a long time and you would think that would make her nervous, but she was too excited for the help the operation would bring to her walking. Isabelle brought her a Christmas ABC themed book and mini Santa toy and she had a sticker book which one of her friends from school gave her. She played, bossed us around like a teacher and relaxed in a mini rocking chair.
She was the fifth of five children having surgery, so we waited as, one by one, the others went in for their varied sugeries. These were all small short surgeries, so each child was in for about an hour or less. Just before the surgery, they put a band on her wrist and a tabard to confirm her name, doctor and type of surgery. She was happy to wear that (even though it was itchy) because it was one step closer to the treatment that could help. When it came for her turn she almost leaped into the nurse’s arms to go through.
The surgery went well and she came round from it without too much diffficulty. She was due to stay overnight because of the anesthetic, but even that she was not worried about. During one previous assessment appointment, she came up to the ward to meet my girls when they were in hospital, so the environment was not as scary as if she had no idea of what to expect. When she got to the ward, was being settled in and we were doing the medication run, she was sick a bit, but was cleaned up and keen to eat afterwards. The surgery wounds were very small and had dressings over them just behind the knee. She was moving her legs normally and was able to sit up on the edge of the bed to eat. She had a cannula in her hand, but she was only bothered by the loose piece of tape on it.
There were two orphanage children in the ward: one from Bann Feung Fah and one from Nonthapom. Both were really excited when I went over and said ‘hi!’. It was clear both needed a nappy change and were so giggly when I said I would do it. Both boys had previously had hip surgery like Miss K, as the scars were bold and both of them, although able to sit properly, were sitting up in what is called W sitting, which is one cause for the dislocation of hips. I can’t get over the frustration that this sight gives me and when I see Miss K with her legs in a bad position, it breaks my heart. I just carry on positioning her well and pray (and ask your prayers too) that the ward staff will understand and prevent the bad posture. Anyway that’s a side line, but it is a struggle I face.
Miss ND totally realises how bad that position is for her hips and tries hard not to sit like that. The doctor did say after the surgery that the hip is close to dislocating. The hope is that a better posture for walking and more straight standing will help. We watch and wait to see.
After the one overnight stay in hospital with Mum (when she had some pain) she was home the following day and resting up. It was not long before she was crawling and kneeling up and now she is now back walking with her parallel bars and in her stander. She has pain some days, but a little paracetamol helps with that. She has said the wounds are itchy, which sounds as though the skin is healing well.
Miss ND is noticing improvement already and Dad says she is finding walking easier.
Walking before the operation
Walking after the operation
My conclusion is that the surgery was helpful and successful. You can see from her first ever walking to her present day walking skills. She has coped so well and was really very brave. She continues with her determined spirit. Thank you to those who prayed. I shall keep you posted on the next steps in the process of helping this little lady get up and on these legs.
On a side note, can I ask for prayers for her and the family regarding her schooling? She is doing so well and her English blows us away at how well she is doing. The present down side is that Miss ND is surrounded by Thai and English and loves to speak them, but has become reluctant to speak her family’s birth language of Laos. She understands and enjoys English so much. It’s making her parents sad. We are praying and seeking some expats who travel to Laos to pick up some reading books and posters to make them a reading option. We are trying to give her resources to encourage all three languages. She is bright and we think she can manage three, but we need to encourage the home one a bit more.
Isabelle updated the donors of the funds that made this surgery possible and wrote a sweet post on Facebook that included…
”Deep tissue surgery was a success yesterday for Miss ND and she is going home today as planned. Next step will be AFOs and Walker.
Once again thank you for your generous donations. This could not have happened without your contribution and Nicola Anderson’s dedication and full commitment.Mom and Dad are so grateful and say thank you to Nichada Community. Thank you so much!”