Miles4Hips Champions: Running the Distance for Hip Dysplasia: Parker’s Story

Eric and Parker’s Team Tee Shirt, designed by Parker’s Mom, Kaylen.

Update: Eric ran three marathons in 2023 to raise awareness about hip dysplasia and to honor his daughter, Parker. Parker was there to cheer her Dad on, and, together as a family and as a Team, they raised $450 for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute! Way to “Run the Distance for Hip Dysplasia!”

Parker was born in December 2021. Upon discharge from the hospital, they completed her newborn assessment, which includes a full hip check. The only snag of a clean bill of health was a rising bilirubin level, but we were free to be discharged. The following morning, we were sent to get a follow up bilirubin blood level drawn and it came back too high. Back to the hospital we went. When we go there a new doctor completed another newborn assessment and noticed ‘click’ in her left hip and wrote for an orthopedic referral immediately. We were lucky to get an orthopedic appointment at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital  week later. At that appointment Parker was diagnosed officially with hip dysplasia and complete dislocation of her left hip. Parker’s only risk factors were that she was a first-born girl, with no family history of hip dysplasia and not breech through the entirety of pregnancy, Parker’s hip dysplasia came as a surprise to us all. We were lucky enough to have had her hips looked at multiple times in her first week of life that allowed her to be diagnosed and treated so early.  

Treatment for Parker began on the day of official diagnosis at 7 days old. She was fitted for a pavlik harness to wear 24/7 until otherwise noted. She handled the trasition into the harness well, better than we did anyway. Once a week we were allowed to remove the harness at the orthopedic office for bath time, they reapplied the harness properly, and made necessary adjustments. After two weeks of 24/7 wear, the doctor determined that her hips were improving and we could move our appointments to every other week. After that appointment, Parker was allowed out of the harness for one hour, once a week for a bath at home (and the best snuggles ever). After a few more ultrasounds, appointments, and just over 8 weeks in the harness, Parker was diagnosed HIP HEALTHY and we began to wean from teh harness over the course of the next 6 weeks. This meant increasing the time out of it by 6 hours every 3 weeks. Finally, after 15 weeks in the harness and one more ultrasound, Parker has been harness free as of April 11, 2022!

On September 9th, Parker had her first orthopedic follow up imaging since being harness free. They took an x-ray of her hips to check for proper development as the head of the femur has begun to ossify. The appointment went great and Parkers hips are continuing to develop correctly. She will be seen again in 6 months, after she starts walking, for another x-ray. They hope to see the head of her femur deepening her hip sockets as it ossifies.  We will keep our fingers crossed Parker remains hip healthy! 

Parkers dad, Eric, has been an avid marathon runner for 5 years. The day after Parker was officially harness free in April 2022, Parker and her family traveled to Boston to celebrate with Eric as he ran his first Boston Marathon. He dedicated that race to Parker and her journey with hip dysplasia, in hopes that the early diagnosis and treatment allows her to live a pain free and hip-healthy life. After Parkers diagnosis, he wanted to turn his passion for running into something more. That’s when he found Miles4Hips. He is planning to run THREE marathons in 2023, including his second Boston Marathon. He has decided to use his platform as a runner to raise money and awareness for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and Miles4Hips. Eric’s goal is to raise awareness about hip dysplasia to promote early diagnosis and treatment in babies, just like Parker.