Dancing with joy!

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With our CEO, Elizabeth, prior to surgery.

Like Kyla Joy, Christina had been patiently waiting for her surgery for almost a year due to the pandemic. She could not stop grinning when the surgery to correct her severely bowed legs at St Vincent’s Private Hospital was finally confirmed for Monday 15 February.

We couldn’t quite believe it, when on the Friday before Christina’s surgery, Victoria went into a sudden five-day lockdown. We all held our breath as we worked out what this meant for Christina. For a moment there, it was a close call as to whether the surgery would go ahead or not – and we started to think about how to break the news to young Christina. We all breathed a huge sigh of relief when a phone call on Saturday confirmed that thankfully, her surgery was to proceed as planned!

The procedure took over five hours. Her surgeon, Associate Professor Leo Donnan, attached external frames around her legs, connecting them to the underlying bone by wires and screws. These frames, known as hexapods, allow the bone to be moved in such a way that the legs can realign into a straight position. Because of the severity of the deformity, Christina also required her shin to be divided in two places.

Christina was intolerant of numerous pain relief medications, resulting in an extended stay in hospital. With her pain relief under control, Christina was finally discharged on 20 February.

Post surgery, admiring just how straight her feet are already!

Since her return to The Retreat, Christina is making excellent progress.

She is diligently doing her exercises and physiotherapy. She can now stand up and even take a short walk.

The limb corrections will take place over a number of months, and the frames will continue to be attached to Christina’s legs until her bones have healed.

Christina standing a few weeks after surgery!

“I feel great. My legs are getting straighter and stronger. I can’t wait to do many things, especially dance,” says Christina, who longs to dance like a ballerina one day.

Over the next few months, as Christina’s legs continue to realign, more rehabilitation will take place to strengthen them. With her speedy progress, Christina’s dream of dancing like a ballerina may not be too far away in the future. In the meantime, we hope that Christina will be able to join us on the dance floor at our Gala Ball in October!

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