Help Gracie get a Walkaide!
$5,105 Raised
85% of $6k goal
64 contributors
3 Years running
May 12, 2006, at six months old, Gracie's life changed. I never thought my beautiful baby Gracie would suffer a massive stroke, but she did. The last 7 years have been an incredible journey with her. She has an incredible opportunity to walk normal. More ...
Gracie's 6 months old Gracie had a stroke. The brain damage effected the areas of her mobility, speech and behavior. She has been in speech therapy for a year and is currently on a rotating 3 month evaluation. She was in occupational therapy for her left arm for over 5 years and is on a rotating three month evaluation with a home therapy. She has continously been in physical therapy for her left leg since the stroke. When she was one, she started wearing a brace. The brace helps her high tone in her leg. What that means is her foot always points down, plus she does not have total control over her foot. When she walks without a brace, she toe walks, drags her leg and at times she walks on the top of her foot. It honestly looks painful. The brace helps her to not point her foot down, so she is able to walk better. However, the downside to the brace is it does not allow her to use the muscles in her leg correctly. She has very weak leg and ankle muscles. She is evaluated every year with an orthopedic surgeon to monitor her hip development. Surgery is always a possibility for Gracie due to muscle weakness. The other downside to the brace is Gracie has to wear special shoes. She has never worn flip flops, cute sneakers, or sandals. We tried sandals over the summer, but she drags her leg and trips and falls. Also, without her brace her leg actually regressess. Her therapist said Gracie has to wear her brace everyday...even in the hot summer. But now there is a device that was made for adults and pediatric patients.....the Walk Aide. However, insurance does not cover the Walk Aide for pediatric patients. She was allowed to borrow one for two weeks. The difference was amazing. When I saw her walk down the hall for the first time I cried. She look like a normal child and the look and smile on her face said it all!! This device uses electric stimulus that stimulates the muscle which sends a signal to the brain to pick up her foot. It wraps around her calf. This means Gracie uses her whole leg and all of the muscles in her leg. She is able to build strength and reprogram her brain to use the muscles. It also cuts her therapy back from one/twice times a week to once a month! The bonus....Gracie runs, walks and can play normal and she can wear any shoe she wants! At seven years old, Gracie does not jump rope, she has to ride a bike with training wheels, she has never been able to play sports and the list goes on. As a mom, that is hard. I hope this gives you a peek into Gracie's life and what it has been like for her.
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