NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A 5-year-old girl could soon be walking for the first time in her life. The little girl from New Haven traveled to Florida for the life-altering procedure.
Doctors told Christian Lewis that her daughter Ajia would never be able to walk. Her faith was tested over the years. In April, her prayers were answered.
Ajia was born with Spastic Diplegia, a symptom of cerebral palsy, says her mother. “But she was never diagnosed with cerebral palsy,” she adds. “She can’t stand by herself, she can’t walk, she can’t sit independently. Some doctors told me she would never be able to walk.”
After years of therapy, an aunt after watching a national television show directed her to Dr. Dror Paley in West Palm Beach, Florida. “He said, ‘Ajia is an easy fix. I see this all the time,’” Lewis said.
In April, Ajia had a procedure known as dorsal rhizotomy, which lengthened muscles in her calves and thighs, Lewis said.
She is now progressing every day with the help of therapists. “She’s actually standing flat on her feet — something she has never been able to do before she had the surgery,” Lewis said.
Faced with financial hardships, her family stepped up — as well as others. “People I’ve never met a day in my life,” Lewis said. “I just thank God for all of them.”
A battle-tested mother wants other parents to remain steadfast amidst their own struggle. “Just because one or two doctors tell you something that your kid will never walk, that they will never do this, never do that, don’t take that and run with it,” she said.
Lewis says doctors are optimistic that Ajia could be walking by the end of this year — some 8 months after surgery. Next week, Ajia will be back in therapy here in Connecticut.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Donate to Ajia’s GoFundMe page here.