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Child amputee Kammy 'doing very well'Mother reports that daughter can stand on prosthetic legs
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The little girl is on the verge of taking her first steps, and her parents have never been happier.
"She has just learned to stand on her new legs and is doing very well," said her mother, Dale. "She can actually play now!"
"Kammy," as she is known to family and friends, has been living at the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton since March 22. She was fitted with prosthetic legs this spring, and Kammy and her family will travel back to their Grande Prairie home Aug. 8.
The little girl became an amputee when she contracted respiratory syncytial virus and nearly died when a dangerous drop in blood pressure put her body into shock. Doctors amputated both of the child's legs, her right hand and parts of her left hand in order to save her life.
Kammy has a Yellowknife connection because her parents moved from the NWT capital to Grande Prairie about two years ago. The Bonds lived in Yellowknife for almost 20 years, and Kammy's grandparents were Yellowknife residents for 35 years.
The family is still widely remembered in the community, and Yellowknifers rallied to support the Bonds. Together with people in Grande Prairie, Yellowknifers raised approximately $30,000 this spring to help the family out.
That support has been paying off because Kammy continues to make progress.
"Since Kammy arrived (at Ronald McDonald House) she has been undergoing a lot of physiotherapy," said her mother. "The main thing is to get her walking - we aren't quite there yet, but we are definitely getting there."
Both of Kammy's parents have been taking turns looking after her while she adapts to her new prosthetic legs.
But the family also insists that in spite of the physical challenges, Kammy still acts like a typical baby girl.
"She will lie on her back and try to chew on her new feet," said her aunt, Tracey Johnston. "She is so resilient - an amazing little miracle."
Bond said Kammy's rehabilitation program through Edmonton's Glenrose Hospital includes a play group for child amputees that has been instrumental in her recovery.
"The best part has been the play group - it changes from week to week, but Kammy gets to play with other kids who are dealing with similar issues," she said. "We met one family last week with a child who had similar amputations to hers as a result of meningitis, and the family was absolutely wonderful.
"It's been a very powerful experience to be part of it all."
Bond said they'll have to be careful to monitor Kammy as she grows to make sure she doesn't develop "growth-plate injuries." Growth plates are the areas of developing tissue near the end of the long bones in children and adolescents.
When a child's growth is completed during adolescence, the growth plates are replaced by solid bone. An injury to a growth plate in a child's body can occur from a fall or a blow to the body and, as Kammy learns to walk, there is a heightened risk of injury due to her condition, her mother says.
Bond said Kammy will return to the Glenrose Hospital in October for a follow-up appointment, and then have appointments every three months as she continues to grow.