Please select your shipping destination
What most will never know is that Julie broke her hip when she was 2 ½ in a beginning gymnastics class. She was swinging from a small trapeze bar about five feet off the ground. The goal was to swing and land into a foam pit. She let go early and landed on a wedge mat. The landing angle of the fall was devastating. Julie let out one scream and grabbed her leg. Not seeing anything abnormal but visually she was hurting, we rushed Julie to the local children’s hospital emergency room.
There are moments in our lives that we will never forget and I experienced one of those the night of her injury in February 2011. As I was sitting with Julie in the emergency room I started to cry. Julie, age 2, looked up at me and said, "Mommy, what's wrong?" I held her hand and told her I was sad and sorry she got hurt. Julie looked up at me and said, "It'll be OK!" I will never forget the sound of her voice and the look in her eyes. At that moment we did not know if she would walk again, if she would need multiple surgeries until she was done growing, or if she would ever be able to dance, run, jump, or do gymnastics ever again. However, it didn’t change that she was our little angel who is a smart, beautiful, kind, compassionate, and loving girl.
It was confirmed that Julie broke her hip. She broke the ball off her femur (at the femoral neck) where the femur goes into the hip joint socket. She was put in traction overnight and sent into emergency surgery the next morning. The amazing surgeon inserted three pins to reattach the ball of her femur. If this happened to an adult it would require a hip replacement. The surgeon noted that he had never seen this in someone Julie’s age, that this was like a high-speed car accident injury. Due to the injury being at the femoral neck the surgeon also didn’t know if the blood supply to the bone was compromised and/or if the bone would die. For the next 4 months, she was immobilized in a spica cast (cast from her chest down both legs). Eight weeks later she had a second surgery to remove the pins and was casted again for another ten weeks. Julie went for an X-ray every month for a year to see if the bone was growing and to rule out any necrosis. It felt like we were holding our breath at every appointment.
Even in a full-body cast, Julie’s full loving personality never wavered. Understandably, as parents, we were very hesitant to allow Julie to do gymnastics again. However, she begged us to go back even while she was in her cast. We brought her to the last few classes of the session. We would hold her on the trapeze, she would spin on her cast, and army crawl around the room.
Blessings do happen!
In March 2012, Julie was released by the orthopedic surgeon with no restrictions at all. For the next 3 years, we went a different route and Julie was a ballerina. However, Julie had something else in mind. She continually asked, begged, pleaded, to do gymnastics…over…and over…and over again. Again, there are moments in our lives that teach us lessons. This lesson was perseverance and passion. In September 2013, Julie convinced us that it was time for her to get back on the horse. We agreed with faithful hesitation to sign her up for gymnastics. We have been holding our breath ever since.
Julie started in a recreational class and within a few months, coaches asked for her to join the pre-team group. Eight months later, Julie was selected to join her first gymnastics team. Her path has been nothing short of true determination. Her timeline is outlined as follows: level 2 at age 7, level 4 at age 8, level 5 at age 9, TOPs national qualifier, level 8 at age 10, and level 9 at age 11 training HOPES. Her goal for 2020-21 Season is to compete at level 10 and qualify for HOPES.
We all can learn so many lessons from moments we experience in our lives. We just have to listen to them, look for them, act upon them, and share with others the importance of them. Julie teaches us every day the beautiful lessons of life.
YES, IT WILL BE OKAY.
We want to continue to empower others to BE AWESOME!