Althea's Procedure on
“I love to play with my best friend Lady Shysha. We play with Barbies because that’s my favorite. I like the colors brown, yellow, and orange. Also, I like to go down the slide and get on the swing!” Althea shared until someone walked by and … Read more
“I love to play with my best friend Lady Shysha. We play with Barbies because that’s my favorite. I like the colors brown, yellow, and orange. Also, I like to go down the slide and get on the swing!” Althea shared until someone walked by and she asked, “Hey sister! How are you doing? Why are you here?”
“What I like about this kid is she’s a stress-reliever for people. She’s sociable and really friendly. Sometimes strong-willed, but she make me happy. She was born with a disability and we got her treated at a local hospital when she was two years old. Twenty pairs of casts later, Althea still walks on her knees. We heard about Tebow CURE from our neighbor who does physical therapy here. With people so used to Althea’s situation, no one bullies her, but I’d like to get her treated again,” shared Althea’s mom, Rean, who raises her as a single mom.
Children with arthrogryposis like Althea usually go through a long process of treatment and a sustainable facility is valuable to treat their medical needs. In Althea’s case, she will have a tendon release on her left knee, a syndactyly release on her right hand––simultaneously happening as we start off Ponseti casting for clubfoot treatment. It will be a long journey, but because of your help, we will have the means to walk with her to the end of it!
Your help becomes a ripple effect to Althea as she “wants to become a teacher, so [she] can help kids someday.” Thank you for setting an example of generosity to kids like Althea! We ask that you continue to support and pray for Althea as she starts her healing journey.
Althea has grown so much since the last time we saw her! She has come a long way in her healing, but Doctor Jun recommended some more strengthening exercises for her to work on. She is scheduled to have some surgical procedures done to improve the alignment of her legs and to remove her implant. After she was seen by the doctor, she reconnected with some of our staff whom she considers her good friends. One of our staff, Elaine, gave her one of her favorite beauty products (yes, you guessed it right—lipstick!) as an early Christmas present! All in all, Althea is doing well, and we were so delighted to see her progress! We will see her again next year!
"Don't make me slip!" little miss Althea told Dr. Jun today. She's taking small steps with assistance and getting stronger everyday. She was sad to miss school in order to make her physical therapy appointment, but seeing her physical improvement was worth it! Althea will continue to check-in with us weekly as we pray for her to become stronger and stronger!
Althea came for physical therapy today, and slowly wandered around the large room with a walker. She’s getting stronger little by little, and even though she gets tired fairly quickly, she’s working hard. Between the hard work and all the prayers and support she’s receiving, she’ll continue to improve!
As she worked hard in physical therapy therapy today, Althea was told that she should continue to wear sturdy shoes. We promised her that it will not be the "hard" ones like the cast. Dr. Jun gave her a fist pump to encourage her that she's doing well! Please pray that Althea's muscles get stronger!
This is what it's all about! After months of surgeries, castings, tears, sass, and a lot of support and love from everyone who has interacted with her, Althea has started walking! Since she has spent her entire life walking on her knees, it will take some time to build physical strength, but the mental strength and determination is hard wired in this girl! Here's a look at how far she's come! https://youtu.be/Y4ryOk24Nt0
Guess who is back for a quick visit today? Althea has been out and about in her neighborhood so much that her casts are falling apart before her scheduled follow-up! But, she didn't want a cast change. Her first pic shows us how she feels about cast removal, so she asked if we could just reinforce it until we take it off. The second pic shows her reaction as we grant her request. Althea has had endless life updates since the last time we talked to her. Rean tells us the good news that she is ranking top 2 high honors in her class! We are so proud of Althea and even more joyful that she's almost at the end of her final casts!
Althea was discharged Saturday, but is back today for a quick follow up. Dr. Shelley wanted to give her feet the weekend to “breathe”, and now that her swelling is down, we can add fiberglass reinforcements to her cast. This will give her more support and help her casts stay rigid longer. CUREkid Johan’s mom, Love, gave Althea a Hello Kitty backpack as a post-surgery gift; she was thrilled! She’s also thrilled to know that she gets another break from coming to the hospital, we won’t need to see her until next month.
“We’ll keep her a little longer, since she was in a lot of pain last night. So, this morning we saw ‘Angry Althea’” Dr. Shelley told us with a wry smile as we approached Althea’s room. We all know that spunk, both the good and bad side of it! As we entered, Rean told us excitedly (but very quietly!) “Yay, she’s asleep!” It was a rough night with little sleep for either, but splitting Althea’s casts this morning to relieve the pressure proved to be just what was needed. Please continue praying for our little dynamo, we’re hopeful that she’ll get to go home very soon!
Althea had even more company today! Johan and John became friends with Althea when all three were coming each Monday for cast changes. Johan and John were at CURE with a group from the guesthouse, just to hang out, and Rean asked them to come downstairs to cheer Althea up! The room was dark, so the three were pretty absorbed in their electronics, but just having friends nearby who understand was enough to keep Althea calm after a rough, sore morning. Praise God for awesome friendships!
Althea didn't win the battle to keep her cousin with her last night, but we think that having mom Rean be her guardian was probably a good choice! Althea woke up pretty grumpy after surgery, but some medicine helped her fall back asleep, and Rean didn't leave her side. We're hoping this is Althea's last surgery for a while, but if not, we know that she has a strong support network, which includes all her supporters from around the world!
Althea brought the party back in the ward since she has been admitted for her second procedure. The rule is you can only bring one guardian to stay overnight, but she's on a mission to convince the nursing staff to keep her cousin right next to her. We doubt that she'll be successful, but we'll let her enjoy their time together until the end of the visiting hours. For now, she continues to make new friends in the ward and reunite with the old ones––the nursing staff. Please pray for Althea as she goes through another procedure tomorrow!
Christmas break is over and it's time for another cast change. Althea reunited with her Tebow CURE friends calling them over one by one right before her cast change. She's happy to see everyone back but not so happy about the fact that she's going through another set of casts. But just like she usually does, Althea bounced back to her bubbly and sassy self, leaving us with a kissy face until she comes back next week!
Althea looked “Christmas Party ready” this morning in a strapless sundress, bright red lipstick, and as always, plenty of sass! “I did my lipstick myself,” she told us proudly. She was in for another cast change, and although she’ll be in casts over Christmas, she gets a break from the weekly appointments until early next year. But, we’re counting on all of our prayer warriors to continue praying for our patients over the holidays as they continue to heal!
"Até (Sister) Ella, can you please hold my hand?" asked Althea. Cast changes have not been easy for Althea, but it's getting better with her new friends right by her side. Another cast change happened today, which showed Dr. Shelley that Althea has "improved well." Also, Nurse Miay wasn't on duty, but got called in to see Althea because she brought her a bouquet of flowers! Nurse Miay didn't hesitate and was excited to see her again!
Nurse Miay, who happens to be Althea's favorite nurse, tags along during her cast change. She opened her new book and muffin that was bought by Nurse Miay herself––which explains why she is her favorite nurse! With Althea's sweet, funny, and sassy personality, we sure want to shower her with presents, so she's encouraged throughout her healing!
Althea had an x-ray in between cast changes today, and although it seems like it would be a relief to have those casts off for a while, she was looking forward to having them back on. It seems a little backwards, but since she’s still healing, the casts provide support and relieve the pressure her muscles feel trying to support her still-healing bones. The x-ray shows that everything is on track, thanks in a big way to Rean faithfully bringing her in weekly, and we’re thankful that you’ve been faithful in praying for Althea as well!
“Ella! Help me beat my mom!” pleaded Althea as she and Rean battled it out on the Playstation. The pair’s fun relationship was on full display as Rean showed no mercy, taunting Althea saying, “I’m gonna beat ya, you better hurry up!” As much as Ella tried to help, they were no match for Rean. All teasing aside, Althea turned to Rean again for comfort during her latest cast change, but was much calmer this time, and didn’t even threaten to send anyone to jail! Part of healing is emotional healing as well, being able to deal with the discomfort, and knowing it’ll be worth it in the end!
Althea's cast changes continued today. It started a little rough as she was nervous about possibly feeling any more pain, but when she realized that cast changes weren't so rough compared to having surgery, she decided not to "call the cops on Nurse Ken and send him to jail because of pain." Althea and Nurse Ken went on with their silly conversations instead. She promised to be more brave the next time she comes back for a cast change, which Nurse Ken and PT Intern Vivian gave a thumbs up to!
Even though Althea just had surgery, we need to continue cast changes to manipulate her clubfeet and stiff knees in the right direction. She was not happy about the procedure at all, and told Nurse Ken at one point, “Doc, I’m going to tell on you!” We couldn’t help but stifle laughter, mom Rean included, mainly because we were happy to see that Althea’s spirit is still on fire! Although Althea was in pain and struggling, Rean remained incredibly calm, cuddling her and whispering encouraging words to her, such an amazingly patient mom. More cast changes are ahead, please continue praying for this pair who is tackling Althea’s healing journey together.
We rushed in the ward as we heard a loud raspy voice coming out of it. Althea was performing a concert to her #1 fan––Rean, singing a Tagalog song from the top of her lungs. That's a really good sign that she's not in pain anymore! It's been a joy to have her with us. And since she's getting discharged today, we look forward to seeing her again for a follow-up. We know that she felt the same way when she asked, "Are there any more Get well letters?" Althea looks forward to hearing more from you, too! You truly have been a part of Anthea's healing and we thank you for being a part of her journey. https://youtu.be/6vhAwP1jO10
https://youtu.be/LPkvxl0Q8og Althea has been on the go since she was admitted at Tebow CURE and we haven't seen her slow down since until today, when she was feeling a little bit of pain. But with lots of prayers and medicine around the clock, she's recovering well and even made it up in the playroom. Though she can't get on the swing and slide for now, she's content playing with Barbies and hanging out with Children's Mentor, Ella. Here's a recap video of what Althea has been up to as we continue to pray for a smooth-sailing progress from here!
Althea, Rean and Dr. Jun go way back six years ago when Althea first got her treatment at a local hospital––the same hospital that Dr. Jun used to work at prior to becoming full time at Tebow CURE. Althea and Real had forgotten Dr. Jun's name and opted to call him "idol"––a common term that Filipinos use when they're fond of a person. We asked Althea why she calls him "idol" and she simply responded, "because he's nice." Althea was comforted to know that Dr. Jun is part of her treatment again, this time at Tebow CURE. And even though she forgot his name, Dr. Jun says that "it doesn't matter whether they remember our names or not but I pray that they may never forget the name of Jesus, who guides their path toward being fully healed."
Althea keeps pointing up to the ceiling as she shared what her favorite things are––playing with Barbies, going down the slide and hanging on a swing! We think she knows where those things are in the hospital as if she’s hinting us to take her to the playroom! After a few hints, she finally asked, “Sister, can you take me to the playroom?” She gasped about how beautiful the Barbie ball gowns were and took them back to the ward so she has company until she heads to the OR in the morning! We’re already having a lot of fun times with Althea and we hope to encourage her and Rean during their stay at Tebow CURE!
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