When doctors first diagnosed Abigail with spina bifida hydrocephalus they told her mother, Lisa, that she would never be able to sit up on her own, let alone walk. Abby’s legs were so curved, she would try to walk on the sides of her feet with her toes pointing towards each other. It was so hard for Lisa to watch her struggle.

That was four years ago. Things have changed for Abby in a big way.

Holland Bloorview doctors and physiotherapists helped straighten Abby’s legs and helped her gain strength so she could stand.

Holland Bloorview physiotherapists work with kids like Abigail to enhance movement at a very basic level – everything from helping improve how a child moves their arms and legs, how they roll, how they stand, and how they can use those movements to explore their world around them.

Once strong enough, Abby was fitted with a plastic brace that goes around her waist and connects with her ankle-foot-orthoses (AFOs). Prosthetics and orthotics designed and built at Holland Bloorview make a world of difference for kids with disabilities. With their ‘helpers’, as some kids call them, they’re free to move and explore in ways they never thought possible.

Because of their efforts, Abby is now walking tall. She has a newfound sense of freedom and confidence. When she walks, she feels invincible, like there’s nothing she can’t do. A whole new world has opened up to her and she wants to experience all of it.

When Lisa sees her walk her heart overflows with pride, inspiration and happiness. She’s watching Abby do things she never thought possible.
“Her orthoses and braces have changed her life,” said Lisa. “Now the world is wide open to her. She can play with friends, join her classmates on trips…do activities that she could never do before. And she’s made the most of it.”

Your support helps kids like Abigail find and develop their superpowers. Register for Capes for Kids here

Abigail - Capes for Kids comic book cover