A story from New Zealand

I received an e-mail from Bill and Chris Thorne of Christchurch, New Zealand. It concerned their Granddaughter Becky who was about to undergo surgery for a tibial fracture

Dear Slim

What a great site! My 3 year old granddaughter is due to go in for surgery next week to correct a tibial fracture caused by congenital pseudarthrosis.
Very few cases of this happen "down under" (Christchurch, New Zealand) and there are not many resources. So I took to the net and found your site (after a few days searching).
I am really impressed with the information and experiences recorded there. Some great hints for clothing and site cleansing. I have yet to explore it fully but thought I would drop an email to say thanks.
How can I contact parents of other toddlers who have to have a fixator?

Chris Thorne

So I answered Chris as well as I could and, as usual, asked to be kept posted on Becky's progress. I also asked if I could post their e-mail address so that relatives of oher young people could get in contact.
On July 2nd I received the following e-mail

Dear Slim

Thanks for your prompt reply to my email.
Today is the day for Becky's surgery! Many mixed feelings!
We would be only too happy to have our email address listed.
Have no problem with people contacting us - thats what networking is all about.
Chris Thorne

Then on the 16th of July I received the following update.

Dear Dale

Many thanks for your email.
The surgery went ahead on Monday 3 July and Becky was in theatre for 5 hours. It went very well and she came out of the anaesthetic without problem and was hooked up to an epidural for 4 days.
She was allowed home on day 6 with a great little wheelchair, a big box of pin cleaning gear and in good spirits.
The first week home has had a few moments with my going around after I finish work to assist with the cleaning regime.
My daughter is a solo parent so had no live in support and my job is to hold Becky still while we clean her 18 wires - this is not a pleasant task but we feel its becoming easier as she accepts that it must be done.
She has had to go onto antibiotics because of a slight infection but that was looking much better today. She has no problems at all with the 3 times a day lengthening routine.

She is a resilient little soul and is pulling herself up with furniture as support and has started to weight bear on her frame.
I guess only another Ilizarov wearer can understand the every day challenges you go through! Clothing, cleaning, fitting the leg in and under things.
Each day gets a little easier.

I must get back and do a bit more reading at your web site now that things are settling into a routine - many thanks for your thoughts.
Chris and Bill Thorne

And as things progressed Bill and Chris have continued to update me on Becky's fight back to health

Dear Dale

Thanks for your latest email. It's now 5 weeks since Becky's surgery and things are going as well as can be expected.
She has had a tummy bug for 6 days and that knocked her back a bit, but that seems to have finally passed and she can begin to eat properly.
She is fully weight bearing on her frame and is getting quite quick at getting around.
She likes to lie on the floor, hold the top ring and then hoist her leg into the air - its just a game to her but its very close to one of the exercises she is meant to be doing!
The biggest challenge is still the wire cleaning - two people are needed and she hollers all through it.
Does it hurt to clean the wires? We have no idea what it must feel like for her and she doesnt have the language skills yet to tell us! Really appreciate your interest.

I guess it must be very hard for a small child to understand the procedures involved in pin site cleaning, but it sounds to me like she's a little fighter and is doing really first class. Well done Becky! I look forward to hearing more as her story continues

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