04

May

2017

Camdyn’s Surestep Success Story

by aculbertson

Camdyn's Surestep success story

She could fall at any moment.

Lora watched helplessly as her seven-year-old daughter Camdyn slid into the saddle. The first day of horseback riding lessons had finally come. And that left Lora feeling like a nervous wreck. At her request, the instructor stayed close, keeping a hand on Camdyn’s foot as the horse walked.

In this situation, any child could lose a battle with gravity. But for Lora, the fears were even more real. Her daughter struggled with instability for most of her young life. Frequent falls. Wobbly legs. Difficulty walking. A quick turn or a change in speed could send her off the horse and toppling to the ground.

The pace picked up.

Within 10 minutes the instructor stepped back, allowing the horse to trot around the stable. And Camdyn? She stayed safely in the saddle. Her medical history wasn’t going to keep her from enjoying this moment.

Camdyn doesn't let low tone slow her down

Searching For Answers

Early on in Camdyn’s life, there were signs something just wasn’t right. She had difficulty sitting up, lost her balance often, felt pain in her legs after walking, had trouble standing without holding on to something, and faced a variety of other physical developmental delays.

All kids go at their own pace, collecting bumps and bruises along the way. But for Camdyn, it didn’t stop there. She also got tired quickly. After playing for as little as 20 minutes, she often took two hour naps. Even a little bit of walking left her exhausted.

Lora wanted answers. They just weren’t easy to come by.

What made the process so difficult was that Camdyn’s symptoms didn’t cleanly fit into one diagnosis. She was extremely unique. A doctor even called her a zebra in a field of horses.

One of the most notable symptoms was stiffness in her legs. They wanted to stay straight. That made everyday things like diaper changes and sitting in high chairs difficult. It also caused delays. Camdyn didn’t sit up until she was eight months and one week. But then surprisingly, she started walking just two weeks later.

In a cycle that’s all too common, Camdyn bounced around between a variety of doctors and specialists. The opinions differed. Some said she was fine. Some said it was just her personality. And others said there was a problem, but they couldn’t agree on the root cause.

Rather than play the waiting game, Lora kept pushing.  

Eventually, they ended up in the right offices. Thanks to a rheumatologist and a physical therapist, they received the diagnosis. It came in multiple parts:

·         Hypotonia (low muscle tone)

·         Pronation

·         Excessive femoral anteversion

Life With Surestep SMOs

Camdyn received Surestep SMOs around her fourth birthday to address the hypotonia and pronation. The third part, femoral anteversion, effects the femur bone caused her feet to point out. She’d likely need wraps to help straighten her legs out. But doctors recommended that she start with the SMOs. And when they saw just how effective they were, the leg wraps were never needed.

The changes were almost instant.

“Within days you could tell that she knew they made her feel better,” Lora said.

Before receiving her Surestep SMOs, Camdyn never wanted to wear shoes. But once she got the braces, she never wanted to take them off. They helped her feel stable. Camdyn’s confidence soared, she fell less often, and she strengthened her core.

She ended up wearing the Surestep SMOs for a year and half. These days she runs, jumps, and even dances. And while her legs may still be a little wobbly from time to time, she’s absolutely a different kid.

Hypotonia doesn't have to keep kids from playing and having fun

Advice For Other Parents

“Listen to your mom radar.”

That’s Lora’s advice for parents who are earlier on in the process. It’s that gut feeling that helped her push through the wrong turns and dead ends. As parent of two kids with special needs, she also encourages everyone not to use a diagnosis as an excuse or as an excuse to hold them back.

“Stay positive. They’ll get there.”

Learn more about Surestep SMOs