Remembering the heels


There was a physical therapy convention in San Diego this week. Hundreds of PTs from all over swarmed the convention center. As we walked by several cheered on Laelia as she manuvered through the Hyatt hotel lobby. Yep we were in PT world. Laelia was the star. Haha! A few helped her through the front doors (there was a lip) and one said, “Oh! Arthrogryposis!”

But we weren’t there to attend the conference (I’m not a physical therapist), just to slip in the hotel lobby and see Reenee Donohoe, a PT out at Dupont Hospital in DE. (The one holding Roland in the above picture.) We had met up with her briefly in Kansas City during the 2010 AMC conference, but only briefly. I mostly know her from Facebook.

Remember when Laelia first tried some crutches?


Well Reenee saw this video and wrote me on Facebook:

I saw your video. I think Ms.L would do better standing with a wedge under her heel. Try duct taping ~ 1 cm piece of foam, cardboard, or cork under her heel and she’ll stand and balance straighter. She might need a little more than that but it is a good start.

Two weeks later while Laelia was playing with wooden blocks I got a wild hair and duct taped them to the heel of her shoe. I said, “Hey Laelia do you want to wear some fancy high heels?” She said no. Ha! Too bad!




Immediately she was standing without assistance for the first time in her life! A mere few hours later she was walking with full confidence and no falls!


Eventually Laelia got good at walking and we switched to three dominoes duct taped together which made for a lower heel. Then once knee surgery straightened her out, little Laelia no longer needed heels.

So yeah we like Reenee. :) Her wedges (heels) idea wasn’t bad either. ;) And it was fun for Laelia to show off her (now expert) walking skills in person just over a year later. (Part of me still can’t believe she walks.) And it was also nice that Roland got his PT consult in person instead of over YouTube and Facebook. :) We even met some new friends: baby Tyler and his parents! All in all a great visit!

Laelia is a super walker now, but I have to admit that sometimes I miss that little princess in her high heels. :)

2 Responses to “Remembering the heels”

  1. Lori Panganiban says:

    I’m so sad we missed the convention! Sara’s OT has been telling us about the San Diego convention for the past several years, but we never have been able to get the correct information in time… Boo. Hopefully next year we will make it, it would have been fun to see you guys there!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Imagine that Laelia a star! She has always been a star to those of us following your blog. Every time I see her I am just so amazed at what she has accomplished. Having good parents and doctors and pt’s make a huge difference also. I loved the pics of her in the wedding. The whole wedding party was just gorgeous. I loved the red dresses. And to think some quacks said she would never walk.

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