Tell us about your family…
I’m Jenny, and I live in Tiptree, Essex, with my husband Nathan, daughter Katie, our dogs Bramble and Jax, and our cats Loopy and Isaac.
Katie is your star – tell us her story…
Katie had her hip dysplasia missed 3 times after I repeatedly took her to the GP because I wasn’t happy with her range of movement and general weakness in her left leg. She was finally sent for an X-ray at 8 months old. After that everything happened quite quickly, she was referred to our local orthopaedic surgeon in Colchester General Hospital, and he said he wanted her to go to either Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) or the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). After a lot of research we opted for the RNOH and we have never regretted that decision.
Although I had prepared myself for the possibility of Hip Dysplasia I had never expected it to be as bad as it was. Katie’s hip was a ‘high’ dislocation. We had our appointment with the RNOH, who said because of her age and the severity of the case then surgery was the only option. She had her closed reduction and arthrogram at 11 months old but, sadly, the hip wouldn’t reduce, so she was scheduled for an open reduction with femoral and pelvic osteotomies at 18 months.
What’s the current situation with Katie? What does the future look like?
Katie had her 2nd surgery at 19 months old; she was placed into a hip spica cast and currently has 5 days left until cast off day. She will have x-rays and an appointment with her surgeon to see how she has healed. At the moment the future is uncertain but I have everything crossed that this is her last surgery (apart for the metal work removal in 6-12 months time!) and the last cast.
What do you wish you’d known before?
It is nigh on impossible to avoid the cast getting dirty, instead of obsessing about it like I did I would recommend people embrace the grubbiness and have fun!
Can you offer any advice to others going through a similar situation?
The build up to the op is always worse than the op and cast life itself, fear of the unknown is horrible. Katie has learnt to roll, crawl and even walk using her walker. There have been some very long days but the weeks have flown by.
Is there anyone you’d like to mention or thank?
I would like to thank so many people! Firstly, of course, her surgeon – Mr Nejad; he has always made us feel so comfortable with everything he has planned for Katie, and takes the time to make sure she’s happy too.
Penina has also been amazing; she made me feel like no question was too silly and had all the time in the world for us.
Natalie Trice – Natalie set up the charity DDH UK and the Facebook group to go with it. The group is just amazing – I don’t know what I would have done without it. She also wrote the book Cast Life, if anyone is about to start their hippy journey please give it a read!
My whole family have just been amazing too; Katie’s grandparents have helped in more ways than they will know.
Finally my husband Nathan; he has found ways of keeping Katie entertained that I would have never thought of and he had supported us both through this journey that none of us wanted to be on.
Where can we follow Katie’s progress?
Jenny’s Instagram account shares pictures of Katie – you can follow them here: It’s Hip to be Katie