Story 12 – Yoyo
Yoyo comes from a remote village in Yunnan and she is just beginning a new phase of her life. Yoyo has had lower limb deformity since birth which was exacerbated by the medical treatment she received in mainland China when she was one and a half years old. The bony dysplasia of the tibia led to progressive deformity of her left leg in a 90° angulation. She also suffered from stress fractures because of the deformity. The radiological feature also indicated possible malignant changes that the dysplasia could turn into a tumor which would then require the leg to be amputated below the knee. If she did not receive adequate treatment, her leg length discrepancy could have worsened and as the blood could not flow to her lower leg and foot, her leg would have been paralysed.
Yoyo felt really desperate at one point. She always tired, she was in constant pain and it was emotionally exhausting. She could not go to Physical Education classes at school like the rest of her classmates and she missed these opportunities to play with her friends. She just wanted to walk normally.
With the financial aid of the SRDC Yoyo was able to receive treatment at the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital in Sandy Bay. On 14 December 2014 Yoyo received surgery for her leg deformity and for the excision of her bone tumor. Parts of her leg had to be severed to make room for new, corrected bone growth.
Two months after the surgery a report from her surgeon, Dr Chow, indicated that Yoyo required gradual correction of the deformity. Rehabilitation was conducted to extend the deformed leg so that the blood vessels and bones could grow and adapt to the optimal length. Yoyo was monitored at weekly intervals and needed to be in a wheelchair whenever she traveled. X rays were done periodically to allow Dr. Chow to better monitor her situation.
The road to healing was difficult for Yoyo but people around her really cared for her and wished for her healthy recovery. Despite the process being lengthy and difficult, Yoyo is extremely grateful as there are many people not lucky enough to receive the treatment she had.
At the doctor’s recommendation Yoyo’s mother stayed with her during her stay in Hong Kong. Her mother has expressed that her daughter being well is the most important thing for the family.
With the proper treatment Yoyo would be able to do things that she always wanted to do like being a Chinese Medicine Practitioner because she wants to help others. She has suffered a lot and wants to help others who are suffering from physical illnesses.