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3-year-old gaining strength, skills through ‘play’

Guest blog by Sharon Weber

Elena is 3 years old. She was born in China and came home to our family when she was 15 months old. She is a funny kid who likes to tell jokes. She is a girlie girl who particularly enjoys shopping and trying on shoes. Elena is active and likes to be on the go. She loves ballet and has tried swimming lessons.

Elena Patient Story Mary Free Bed Center for Limb DifferencesElena was born with bilateral club feet and distal arthrogryposis. Since she came to the United States, she has been through serial casting and a tendon release to correct her club feet. We manage the arthrogryposis with stretching, splints and occupational therapy.

We were referred to Mary Free Bed for outpatient therapy by our doctor, Lisa Maskill, an orthopedic specialist in limb differences. Elena was going through casting to correct her feet. She was 18 months old.

Elena has done both physical and occupational therapy at Mary Free Bed. She did PT after her casts came off while she was learning to walk, but most of her therapy has been occupational.

Elena loves coming to her appointments to “play” – doing crafts is her favorite activity. To Elena, therapy has always been fun, and the awesome therapists are the reason.Elena Patient Story Mary Free Bed Center for Limb Differences 2

We love Elena’s therapist. We have spent a lot of time with Miss Ellen (Rosevear). She has really listened to us and knows Elena. I am pretty sure Elena thinks of Miss Ellen as her friend.

Elena is really smart and being 3, she has a way of doing what she wants. That being said, she has become a “master compensator.” I am learning how to stretch Elena’s hands and wrists, and we also work on strengthening her hands and doing fine motor activities.

We would definitely recommend Mary Free Bed to our family and friends.

In the future, we want Elena to be able to do anything she wants to do. She may have to do things a little differently, and that’s OK.

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