As many of you will know, Kate was born extremely prematurely, weighing just 1lb 3ozs. She has had many battles to overcome in her short life; the battle to live, to breathe, to see, to eat. Sadly, her beautiful twin brother, Seán, lost his battle at just 15days old. Kate endured many surgeries and finally came home after 6 months in Neonatal Intensive Care. Kate has thrived since then but unfortunately, she has yet another battle to fight.
Kate was born with a rare condition called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. This means that she has very stiff joints. Kate is affected at both her hips and her knees. She has very limited movement in these joints, meaning that she struggles to walk and cannot sit unsupported. She spends all day on her feet, standing to eat and to play but she never complains. She falls daily, and when she falls, she falls hard as she cannot bend to save herself.
Dr. David Feldman is a world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon and a leader in his field. He is based at The Paley Institute in Florida. He has helped many children just like Kate to gain more flexibility in their joints through surgical procedures and an intensive rehabilitation programme. Our hope is for Kate to undergo surgery to stabilise her hip joints, to shorten her femurs and to rotate them into the correct position. This surgery will require a minimum 6 week stay, where Kate will have daily physiotherapy and will learn how to walk. Dr. Feldman has said that the sooner Kate gets the treatment, the better the outcome will be for her. The surgery will greatly improve the quality of Kate's life.
Kate is an incredibly strong and determined little girl. She has shown this time and again through all that she has been through. This surgery will give Kate independence and allow her to do everyday things that most of us take for granted; to stand up, to get dressed, to walk independently, to sit on a chair comfortably, to sit on the floor to play, and maybe even learn to cycle a bike.
Kate's Mammy (my sister) and Daddy spend every waking moment trying to help their little girl and I am asking you to please help them to help her . Please donate whatever you can and share this appeal far and wide to help this amazing little girl get the treatment she needs.