June 3rd is World Clubfoot Day and a day we take to recognize just how far our girl has come over the last (almost) five years! From the day we learned of Joy Belle’s disability, to today – she’s grown and blossomed so much. Her tiny crooked feet are now what I like to call lima beans and have progressed so much.
While we thought this journey would be a thing of the past, she’s still enduring and overcoming challenges daily. Just for reference, I’m going to share some of her numbers over the last 4 years:
- 4 surgeries
- 35 serial casts (16 weeks total)
- 9 post-op casts
- 3 sets of AFOs (braces)
- 3 pairs of boots & bars
- 4 years of physical therapy
- 2 surgeons
Right now, she sees a physical therapist twice a week and wears corrective AFOs to sleep. She’s walking, running, and swimming very well, and is aware of her disability. She’s had to relearn to do so many things since her last surgery in February.
For a long time I kept wishing these challenges away, like they’d just be some distant memory, but now I’ve accepted that this is our journey and clubfoot will always be a part of Joy Belle’s story. It’s my daily goal to use her challenges to shine Christ and bring Him glory.
For those of you new around here, Joy Belle was born with bilateral clubfeet. Meaning that her Achilles’ tendon is shorter than most & causes her feet to naturally turn in. We found out when I was 20 weeks pregnant (you can read more about that here) and had no idea what this meant. we were first time parents and scared for our girl’s future. Would she walk? I had no idea.
As it turns out, clubfoot is fairly common and treatable, when you have access to care. We are fortunate to have found care for her before she was even born. You can read more about this common disability and ways you can provide treatment for clinics in low-income countries at MiracleFeet.org.