Join Team Angelo in movement on Saturday, October 14! Move your body in honor of him however you would like – walking, running, heading to the park, swimming, etc.! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected to the team’s organizer and make sure to either email your Day of Movement pictures or videos to email@example.com or tag us on social medial #dayofmovement2023.
Angelo’s Mom, Alyssa, shares his story and their reason for moving on October 14th!
Hello, my name is Alyssa, and I am Mom to one of the strongest, toughest, little hip warriors on this planet! His name is Angelo and he is four years old. He is also the son to a wonderful man also named Angelo, brother to three beautiful sisters, a grandson to amazing grandparents, and, of course, a nephew, cousin, and friend to many!
Just before Angelo’s third birthday he was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia of the left hip (congenial hip dysplasia). There were no real warning signs other than the fact that he was a late walker (when compared to other children his age) and that, approximately 4 months prior to his third birthday, his gait began to change. As soon as we noticed a change in his gait, we contacted his pediatrician who thankfully referred us to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon right away.
It was on June 6, 2022, that Angelo was diagnosed. That day – that moment – will be etched in my mind forever. I can remember exactly what Angelo was wearing and how, in the midst of his diagnosis, I felt both scared and relieved that we had some sort of answer, not knowing what the road ahead would look like. I went to work educating myself and joining communities who have loved ones with the same condition. There is a world of hip warriors out there and my hope is to help spread awareness and find ways for hip dysplasia to be more formally screened on infants.
Angelo had an open reduction / osteotomy surgery for the left hip in July, 2022. The time leading up to the surgery was the worst part as the unknown hovered over us daily. But we remained positive and as educated as possible with regards to what was to come. We bought the wagon, bean bag chair, pad for entertainment! And it ALL got used post-surgery.
Angelo’s surgery was almost six hours long – the longest hours of my life. But it was successful thanks to his amazing surgeon from Yale, Dr. Adrienne Socci. If there are ever hands to bless and protect, they are hers! Angelo recovered in the hospital for two nights and was casted for six weeks. His spica cast was down his left leg. The right leg remained open past the knee. It was heavy, and took time getting used to, but, overall we did. And Angelo, the little champ that he is, persevered and adapted quite nicely to it. It wasn’t easy by any means, but we did our best, he healed, and life continued to move on.
Angelo began walking approximately three weeks after his spica cast was removed. What a liberating day for him, and us! “Cast off, Blast off!” was our motto! Angelo began physical therapy six weeks following his cast removal and was doing well, but in January, 2023 I noticed a slight change in his gain again. Follow ups with his surgeon confirmed another surgery was needed, this time a femoral osteotomy. Angelo had this procedure completed in September and is now living in a Maple Leaf Hip Abduction Brace for an unknown set of time. He will be able to put weight and walk again in a couple of weeks, which we can’t wait for! In the meantime, we take it one day at a time. The plate and screws will be removed in about a year.
This has been quite the journey for Angelo and for his immediate family. Due to Angelo’s diagnosis he has had to miss out on some of the toddler / pre-school aged norms such as sports and pre-k, but we are praying he can start a pre-k program come January, 2024! There is one thing to note, that when you have a child with hip dysplasia, you are always worrying and wondering if things are remaining status quo or if something is about to change. It is a heavy feeling, and you are not alone in this in any way.
This is just a glimpse of Angelo’s story. Behind it is a strong, optimistic, adaptable, courageous little boy who shows everyone around him just how to move forward in the wake of change and uncertainty.
Diamonds form under pressure, and we can’t wait to see Angelo shine because he is just TOO HIP for this!