A Rowlett girl is celebrating one year since a life-changing surgery. The technology is now allowing her to dance.
It doesn't matter if it's tap, ballet or jazz, 6-year-old Sophia Bliss is all in! She is loving her first year in dance class.
Up until a year ago, Sophia couldn't move much at all.
When she was born, her parents were told something was wrong but they didn't know what.
"They held her up and that's it. I was like the Grinch, you know. My heart just grew. I have tears in my eyes. And then they wisked her away and I just hear muttering. And I'm going, ‘What's wrong? Where is my baby? What's wrong?'" said Jennifer Bliss, her mother. "She was kinda like a little frog. Her hips were open. Her fingers were twisted up. Her arms were twisted like this and to pull them down they would snap back up."
Lots of tests were run on the baby girl.
"I just never felt so scared in my life. It's just total helplessness," said Martin Bliss, her father.
Sophia was later diagnosed with hypotonia, meaning she has very low muscle tone which results in very little muscle strength.
"She is like a sack of potatoes, sack of flour. She doesn't have the tone. She doesn't hold her body up in the way that we all do. She's just kind of wherever I land, this is where I will be," her mom said.
Due to her not having control over her body, Sophia has slumped for years. It's caused her spine to curve about 70 degrees.
A year ago, her parents and doctors made the decision to surgically implant titanium growth rods into her back to straighten out her spine. It allows her to sit up straight in her wheelchair.
Her parents said it was life changing.
"She really wanted to try ballet. She wants to be a ballerina. So we are doing dance," her mom said.
The rods will grow with Sophia, being magnetically lengthened every three months by her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Redman, at Children's Health Spine Center.
It's been a fairly easy process for a little girl who still has a lot of things she now wants to do.
"It's amazing what hopefully we are gonna be able to get away with with technology and experts like Dr. Redman who can make sure no doors are closed to her. It's truly remarkable and humbling to me," her dad said.
Sophia's muscle tone will be a life-long battle but when she is done growing doctors will be able to remove the rods and fuse her spine, hopefully at least getting rid of her spine issues.
You can help the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with this kind of important work. To learn more, visit CMNHospitals.org.