It wasn’t hard to see that God was ahead of us. When our little daughter was 5 years old, we noticed a limp in her walk. Her dad discovered a weakness in her right leg.
After talking with some other young parents who were our friends from church, we found out about an outstanding pediatrician whose office was in a nearby town just 20 minutes away. An appointment was made and little Gail and I started out. Torrents of rain just five minutes out of town covered the windshield. What to do?
I pulled over to see if the storm would let up and finally, we could see well enough to continue. Several tests were made by the doctor and we were told that we would be notified of the results.
A few days later, her dad and I were called to come over for a consultation. It was determined that our daughter had Legg-Perthes disease in the right hip joint. This meant that the right hip joint had deteriorated to almost flat and we would need to see an orthopedic specialist, right in our own home town. X-rays would be made from time to time to determine progress after a special leg brace was worn for a long period of time, probably two years. Tears and heartbreak were deep inside for us both.
Where to get such a brace? There was a man who had actually seen braces of this nature constructed to fit these cases. We were directed to him, right in our own town, and he laid our daughter out on paper on a table, and a steel/leather brace that belted around the waist with leather covered steel laceable extensions were designed for each leg. Between the legs were jointed metal rods that held the legs far apart, but she could still walk. The ball joint would then renew and regrow a not perfect, but suitable joint. Ingenuity of using tops of Daddy-white-sox to wear under the leg braces to prevent chaffing and Velcro and snap openings created jeans and pants to wear much like that of other classmates from K-2nd grade. Wearing the brace to sleep was included. Only at bath time could this brace be taken off.
Little Gail named her brace “Stanley” because it helped her stand. Not only did it help her stand, but she learned to run and ride a small bike. Normalcy for two years was our game. “Stanley” broke at least 17 times which meant missing school while a faithful Charles repaired or rebuilt this special brace at no cost to us! We were told his was the 11th brace of its type in the state.
Strangely, after the two years it took for her to be rid of the brace, Charles and his large family lost their home by fire and they decided to move out of town. But he was there for us.
In junior high, Gail broke a school track record which was, however, broken by another before the year was out.
Having come such a long, long way, we will always have gratitude for those who were there when we needed them and a God we worship who really cares.
Thank you, Lord, time and time again!
member of FBC, Lewisville