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Millie’s Story

This is an incredible story about 3 year old Millie.

In July 2018 Millie’s parents found out Millie had severe Bilateral Developmental Displacement of the Hip (DDH). DDH is a condition that affects the hip socket and ball joint and in cases of unilateral DDH the odds are 1 in 10000 but unfortunately for Millie she has the rarer bilateral DDH. Millie was born with this condition and it was left undetected for 3 years, and was only picked up as she could not cross her legs properly at school, prompting a doctors appointment which also miss diagnosed this and only down to us as her parents requesting an osteoptherapy referral discovered this condition. Her hip sockets have not formed and her femoral balls are highly dislocated. For most children this would be picked up at birth, as Millie was born with unilateral talipes, but unfortunately she never had further hip screening, and all her developmental hip checks came back as satisfactory. If this was picked up at birth she would have worn a Pavlik Harness to correct this issue and she may not have to have undergone any surgery. Consultants have said that Millie is a medical miracle and should not be able to walk.

Millie in the coming months will have to undergo extensive open reduction hip surgery which lasts up to 6 hours each time, to reconstruct her hip sockets which also involves having both her femurs cut and shortened as her legs will be too long and to also aid in the bone graft reconstruction of her hip sockets, all held together with metal plates and pins. Millie will have to undergo at least two separate corrective surgery’s, one on each hip, and spend between 3 – 6 months in a cast from the waist down (Spica cast). She will then have to have Physio and Hydro therapy for between 6 – 12 months to help her recover and be able to walk again. Finally she will have her metal work removed between 1-2 years post op, then have to have annual check ups for at least 4 years to ensure her hips are forming as normal. It is vital that this is undertaken before her 4th birthday in November, to ensure the best chances of successful recovery and will also reduce the chances of further surgery in years to come. This also means Millie will be missing vital education as she will be out of school for at least 1 year and will not be able to participate in high impact activities for between 1-2 years. This is all very restrictive for a little girl who has a very active life with her family. If Millie doesn’t have this surgery by the age of 20 she will have severe arthritis, curvature of the spine and would require her to have a full hip replacement. Luckily for Millie she hasn’t complained of any pain and she knows no different.

As Millie shouldn’t be able to walk Millie’s parents wanted to undertake a challenge as a great achievement that she can look back on in years to come and will be doing this by walking to the summit of Pendle Hill, roughly 5km and 1876ft of climbing. This is quite a challenge for a 3 year old who’s legs are only supported by her muscles and tendons, but Millie enjoys the outdoors and adventures and putting on her mountain boots (Her words). Millie has already spent 5 days in hospital during June 2018 as she contracted sepsis and pre-septal ocular cellulitis through infected chicken pox, and also had a reaction to penicillin which she is having further tests for before she undergoes any surgery. Our little minion really has fought hard this year and continues to prove how much of a strong and determined little angel she really is.

Millie’s parents want to raise awareness and support for families affected by DDH and to help to prevent misdiagnosis and the effects it could have on another child like Millie. Millie is excited for the challenge ahead and lunch at the summit of Pendle.

Millie’s walk is planned at the end of August/ start of September, the dates are flexible as conditions have to be right in order to walk to the summit.

Millie’s parents would like to raise money for Steps in order to help other families like them.

£25 provides help and advice to parents calling Steps helpline about unborn children’s lower limb problems

£50 helps to supply a large NHS trust with a range of booklets to help and support affected families

£220 can provide a specialist grant for a Hip Spica car seat to help a young child recovering from hip surgery.

So please if you can spare even just £1 Millie would be totally made up. Her JustGiving link is here…