Seven year old Izzie Lloyd from Tamworth recently had her dream come true when she met her favourite Disney Princess at Disneyland Paris, thanks to local children’s fundraising group, Simon’s Heroes.
Izzie has Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDC), a rare genetic disorder which causes skeletal and joint malformations involving the spine, hips and knees and abnormalities affecting the eyes. These growth deformities lead to children being shorter than normally expected. Some may develop hearing or vision problems.
Concerns were raised at Izzie’s health check when she was 10 months old; her growth rate was exceptionally slow. Tests were carried out over the ensuing months and she was diagnosed with SEDC at 18 months old. The condition largely affects her upper torso; the rest of her body is in proportion. She is also severely short sighted.
At the age of two Izzie complained of knee pain, further investigation revealed that her hip sockets were not in the correct position to completely cover and support the femoral head (the highest part of the thigh bone) which made it very painful for her to walk. Corrective surgery to re-angle her femoral heads was recommended, however Izzie would have to wait until her bones had grown big enough to withstand the plates and screws that would be implanted.
Izzie underwent surgery in January this year. She was in a broom stick plaster cast for 3 weeks, which is used to keep the legs apart and the hips in a good position. The plaster extends down both legs which are held apart by a stick. This was very restricting for Izzy, dressing and bathing were particularly difficult. She was unable to weight bear for 6 weeks. She was off school for 3 months and had to learn to walk again. It was a traumatic time for Izzie and her family.
Six months on and Izzie is walking a lot further than ever with minimal pain. The operation has also increased her height by 2 cm which means she has grown out of age 3-4 clothes and is now wearing age 4-5. ‘This is such a big thing to someone who doesn’t grow very much, Izzie is delighted,’ explained her mum Kirsty.
Izzie’s condition means that she is likely to develop further pain and inflammation (osteoarthritis) at an early age and could face knee and hip replacements in the future.
Izzie lives with her mum Kirsty, dad Chris and big brother George (8) in Hopwas, where she also attends Thomas Barnes Primary School. She is a very smiley, sweet young lady with lots of energy. She has always dreamed of meeting Princess Aurora and the other Disney characters in Disneyland. Simon’s Heroes made her wish come true in May and arranged a magical trip to Paris for Izzie and her family. Izzie beamed as she recalled having dinner with Princess Aurora and Minnie and Micky Mouse as well as meeting her very own Prince Charming amongst other Disney characters.
‘Thank you to Simon’s Heroes for making her wish come true, a wonderful treat which the whole family have enjoyed. Just what Izzie needed.’