DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

A baby determined!

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC)

Raylene Thompson

Abigail's story

Abigail was diagnosed with arthrogryposis at 32 weeks in utero. Arthrogryposis is a condition which affects the muscles and joints; low muscle mass and joint contractures. The doctors were not too hopeful of her prognosis, they provided little encouragement. She was born with bilateral club feet and joint contractures in her elbows, wrists, knees, ankles and one shoulder. When Abigail was 2 days old she received her first set of 5 series casts and also her first set of 3 hand splints. At 5 weeks she had her achilles tendons released via tentonomy.

Currently she is in her 2nd set of Ponsetti braces to maintain appropriate foot posture. She has also graduated to hand braces which help create extension in her wrists along with wearing elbow braces at night to create flexion in her elbows. She went from a 90 degree inward flex in her wrists at birth and now she can extend outward past neutral. Her elbows can now reach a 90 degree bend where she was having trouble getting to 135 degrees at birth. Because of this she can now bring her fingers and toys to her mouth to chew.

At birth, her shoulder would allow her arm to rise no further than eye level but now she can reach the top of her head and has recently discovered her hair! Let the pulling commence! With all that being said she is an extremely happy baby with an overwhelming spirit of determination. Although she may be limited in her ability to flex and bend where others easily can, she does not let it hinder her everyday activities. At 8 months old she is quickly learning to adapt and discover new ways to function and play.

Although she may take a bit longer than most to achieve her goal or may accomplish her goal differently, she exudes determination in all that she does and when she succeeds, her face is beaming with joy! She loves to play with anything that makes music, jumping in her jumper, exploring the outdoors and also enjoys a good story read by Mommy or Daddy, Dr. Seuss mostly! With physical and occupational therapy once every week, along with at home exercises, Abigail is well on her way to leading a life with minimal physical hurdles. Each week we witness refined motor skills and growing muscle strength. She has progressed beyond all expectations and has impressed many of her doctors and therapists, not to mention her family. Everybody is extremely positive for her future and proud of all she had accomplished. She is a wonderful reminder that you can accomplish anything your heart desires regardless of disability or lack of ability, just as long as you put forth the effort to continue to try and never give up!

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