Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Where there's a will...

Anybody who knows Polina knows that there is no lack of will in this girl. In fact, she's the strongest willed little woman I know. When she puts her mind to something, there's no stopping her!

Today, we went to get her new KAFO's (knee, ankle, foot orthotics) and as soon as she saw them, she said, "I'm gonna walk!" As the doc tried to fit them, trim them, and make adjustments, Polina just kept telling him she was going to walk. He was so patient and so kind. By the end of the appointment, I was fighting back tears...so if you're a big Polina fan...get your tissues NOW!

I love how she asks for gum - a true sign of where she came from!

Now, don't forget that Polina still needs surgical correction to her right foot and both legs. Her foot surgery is scheduled for August 1st. For now, the lucky girl got a new pair of shoes with a wedge in the right foot to help even her out for weight bearing. In the picture below, you can see how the right shoe in front is lifted at the sole.

And, if you've been following our story, you know that Polina's legs have both been broken. The left one is healed incorrectly and the right one still appears to be broken. None of the doctors or therapists have seen anything like it. Here is a picture of the Xray.
You can try to imagine how I felt when the doctor showed me this. I was angry! I don't know how it could have happened and been undiscovered. She wouldn't have felt it, but I can't imagine it didn't bruise and swell like crazy. Whatever the case may be, it just goes to show that orphans need parents who are able to pay attention to them and the changes and needs within their bodies. Blaming doesn't do any good, it is what it is, and now it's time to move on and fix it.
I do have a theory as to how it happened. In fact, when the doctor showed me, my gut immediately told me what happened. Polina had braces similar to the ones she got today in Russia. There is a big difference in how they work in the knee. I attempt to show you that in this next video.
What I believe happened to Polina's leg is that a well-meaning, but untrained caregiver attempted to put her into her brace and pushed her knee too hard (probably after casting causing her bones to be weaker) and the bones just snapped. I am thankful for the health care that Polina received in Russia. It is better than she would have gotten in a lot of places and she was lucky enough to be sponsored to receive care. I am especially thankful for those people. However, I'm even more thankful for the advancements and care available to her here in the US!
The following pictures are of her showing off her new hardware and standing with something to help her balance.

What an amazing day!


  1. This is truly amazing! Glad I had a tissue ready for this post. Go Polina go....cheering you on sweet girl! And of course your amazing mama. :)

  2. All this shows that most of other "sick" kids in rus. orphanages are not so sick and have good chance to be cured. If they could get this chance...