With her radiant smile and vibrant energy, MaKennah is anything but your average seven-year-old. Diagnosed early in life with cerebral palsy and autism, MaKennah has faced a multitude of limitations and complications that interfere with her day-to-day life and her passion for playtime.
MaKennah lives with her grandparents, who recently finalized the adoption process for her and her older sister. The process took five long years to accomplish but now MaKennah and her family live in a lake community with three acres of open space for her to explore, climb trees, and spend time on their boat during the summer months.
Makennah’s grandmother, Rosemary, drives Makennah an hour each way to the hospital three times a week to see MaKennah’s therapists and they drive even further to see her doctors for regular checkups and tests. MaKennah experiences limited mobility due to her diagnoses and was using a walker to get around, which is not ideal for an energetic seven-year-old ready for an adventure. Although MaKennah had worn orthoses before meeting P&O Care practitioners in the hospital, upon meeting MaKennah P&O Care’s Allison Singer was able to customize a new pair of Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFOs) that would help her even further with mobility and stability, with her current braces even featuring cats, one of MaKennah’s favorite animals.
“Her braces do not limit her ability to move,” said Rosemary. “In fact, they’ve helped her be able to run a little bit and she even wants to try jumping on the trampoline with her older sister.”
In addition to Allison from P&O Care, MaKennah sees a speech therapist and a physical therapist during her regular therapy visits. One of her occupational therapists, Jenica, works with MaKennah on her mobility through play-therapy in order to decondition her to the hospital setting, something that can be a struggle for young patients who regularly visit. MaKennah’s dedicated care team works together to help MaKennah push her limits and improve her motor functions. Each visit helps her with her classwork and has helped her bolster her confidence and interact with her classmates. While MaKennah excels in most subjects, she loves learning about art the most.
To help MaKennah keep moving towards her goals, she is undergoing hip surgery to help straighten out her leg, set to take place during the summer of 2021. After six weeks of recovery, MaKennah will move on to her next goal of focusing on pain-free mobility with the help of her braces. Her surgeon is optimistic that she will only need a wheelchair for a few weeks until she is cleared for walking and can be fitted with new braces by Allison, who will follow MaKennah’s progress every step of the way. MaKennah will continue to see her physical therapist multiple times a week with the hope to decrease those visits in the future as MaKennah gains more independence and confidence in her mobility and motor skills.
After her surgery recovery period, Rosemary is hoping to find an equestrian therapy location for MaKennah to start working with. With the P&O Care team and her family cheering her on, MaKennah has a great adventure ahead of her with progress happening every step of the way.