When we first came across Minge at the age of 7, abandoned by her parents, not only would she not talk to anybody, but due to severe contractures at both knees and ankles, she could only get around by bunny hopping. Despite her anxiety, she tolerated our early efforts to let us help her and we could tell by the way she observed everything that was going on around her with a scrutinous look, that she was a bright girl. Gradually her caution reduced and following her exercises she would enjoy emptying out and exploring the full contents of my bag, which were fascinating to her - the notebooks, pocket toys, facewipes and mobile phone all fully examined.
With a great deal of support from her new home and the staff at Starflower, Minge gradually gained more confidence and when I saw her again nearly 6 months later, she was a changed girl - singing songs and playing with her schoolfriends happily. But her contractures were limiting her ability to move freely and though physiotherapy including regular stretching, strengthening and mobility work was helping, she clearly needed more if she was to ever be independent in her walking. We had a standing frame made for her and with gaiters and firm shoes on, she was able to extend the periods that she could stand. But, more was required and so through the Mae Tao clinic, manipulation under anaesthetic was organised followed by 6 weeks in plaster casts in the hope that the range gained through manipulation could be retained.
There followed a period of intensive physiotherapy to encourage Minge to gain enough strength to walk and while we provided the encouragement, the determination all came from Minge herself - what a girl she is! This has not been easy for her - there has been a lot of discomfort and effort required to get her to this stage.
We will add to this story as it unfolds, but Minge at the moment works hard every day turning her will to acheive great things!