This is Emma with her sister Amelia. She was born in Xiangyang City, China on May 7, 2009. She was found a year later on the side of the road, with a note that said her mother had a disease and couldn’t take care of her. The police looked for her mother but were not able to find her. She spent the next 6 years in an orphanage in Xiangyang City, until Mike and Judy traveled to china to adopt her. They adopted Amelia in 2014.
Emma has spastic diplegia, historically known as Little's Disease. It’s a form of cerebral palsy (CP) that is a chronic neuromuscular condition of hypertonia and spasticity—meaning she has an especially high and constant "tightness" or "stiffness” in the muscles of her legs. An aquantence of Mike and Judy’s who has this condition said: “When you are spastic at NO time are you relaxed NOT even sleeping.. How would you feel if your body kept getting tighter and tighter & you could no longer bend your legs to dress or get in and out of your wheelchair by yourself.. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.”
Emma's surgery is scheduled for December 12th of this year. It’s called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), and it will be at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. This is a surgical procedure performed on the lower spinal cord. This involves doctors identifying certain sensory nerve fibers in the spinal cord and cutting them. The nerves that lead to excess muscle tone, which is a condition of cerebral palsy and spasticity, are then cut.
Patients who undergo SDR surgery at St. Louis Children's Hospital's Center for Cerebral Palsy Spasticity often need an additional surgical procedure for muscle/tendon lengthening to relieve contractures (limited motion) in their joints. Mike and Judy want Emma to have the surgery now to prevent that.
The longer a child goes in her condition the more likely it is for damage to joints and bones as her body grows. She will need extensive daily physical therapy for 6-12 months after the surgery. These months will be grueling for her and the family as it requires a HUGE commitment and lots of work. But the surgeon has performed over 3000 of these surgeries. Mike and Judy are in an SDR facebook group with over 8500 people and not ONE has said a negative thing about the surgery. Every single person that has left a comment has said it has changed their life. It is not a miracle cure but it has vastly improved their lives.
Mike and Judy are in need of help paying for her MRI, X-rays, surgery co-pay, and the therapy after the surgery, travel expenses to and from St. Louis, and a week there while Emma undergoes surgery and a hospital stay afterward. Any amount will help even $1, $5 etc... Please also share on facebook and with your friends and help get the word out!