Maggie-April’s Story

Hi my name is Maggie-April and I was born with severe bilateral hip dysplasia (DDH). I was born and a few days later I was adopted but with no awareness of what was to come. I was a totally normal smiling, laughing and happy baby for a year until I started walking. I had a limp and a roll to my walk. My mom brought me to the doctor numerous times but they kept saying that the reason that I had a limp was cause I just started walking. When I was two my mom ordered the doctors to refer me to a pediatrician. My doctor said that they would take an x-ray then see if anything was wrong…That night the doctor called and was clearly shaken, she sent my family and I strait to the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

My continuous journey started when the doctors at the Children’s hospital diagnosed me with severe bilateral hip dysplasia. They explained what DDH was and that my x-ray and CT scan showed that I had almost no hips at all. That day the doctors and nurses scheduled me for first surgery that would be in a couple of months.

Between the age of two and five I had had five surgeries and about six different Spica Casts for months at a time.

At the age of five I was all fixed and could do anything I wanted. I went back for check-ups every year.

At one of my regular check-ups when I was ten they sent me to get an MRI. My parents knew something was wrong but kept it to themselves. After looking at my MRI my doctors decided that my left hip was slowly dislocating and they would have to fix it with more surgery. I underwent 3 more surgery which included a HUGE Spica cast and very annoying leg difference. My sixth surgery left me with a leg difference of four centimeters. I had to wear a lift on the bottom of my shoe, the lift attract lots of questions and bullies. The lift also limited me only two pairs of shoes over a year and a bit.

I was all done with surgeries, or so we thought until this last April where I underwent my 9th surgery on my right leg. I am still recovering, but am happy that they did this surgery. This surgery has made life easier by fixing the leg difference, they took four centimeters out of my right hip. I now have 5 pairs of shoes and am excited to recover to the fullest!

In my future I will have one surgery next year and hip replacements in my thirties but, I like to live life in the moment and not worry about the future!

I am currently 13 years old and have overcome nine surgeries on my hips. I am very active and love to play all kinds of sports, nothing can stop me and my hips!




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8 Notes

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  1. Wendy says:

    You have a great attitude Maggie. Keep it up! You can do anything you want! I am very happy to know you!

  2. Mary says:

    We are so proud of you, Maggie! Love you, Uncle Ron and Aunt Mary

  3. Mary Varvel says:

    Maggie–your story is so inspiring! I am sitting at the hospital with a dear friend who is all of six years old and about to find out if a second surgery is needed. Your story has made us very happy–and we will keep you and a future of stylin’ shoes–in our prayers.

    All the best,

    Mary from Houston (Shriners Hospital)

  4. Rebekah says:

    As someone who too has suffered with bilateral hip dysplasia I can sympathize with a lot of your story Maggie especially the bit about Spica casts!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Reading this just gave me chills. It’s has if my daughter wrote this. Our daughter also has severe bilateral hip dysplasia which was not diagnosed until she was almost 3. She has endured many surgeries and also has a significant leg length difference. She is now 10 and the next step will be intervention on leg length.
    Maggie you are a great inspriration! Can’t wait to share your story with our daughter!

  6. danielle says:

    Wow! You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope one day I can have the amount of courage and perseverance that you obtain.

  7. Una says:

    Can you please help me. My lovely 4 year old girl who is healthy in every other way had DDH in her left hip. She has been operated on 3 times (spica 3 times) has a 3 cm leg length difference. We have just been told she may need further surgery. Im going out of my mind. is there something I can learn from you, was there one surgeon who really made the difference? All advice appreciated- apparently she has a v tricky hip.
    Thank you

  8. Becky says:

    Hi Maggie.

    We have almost identical stories. I was diagnosed late at 18 months after my parents insisting doctors to test me, I’ve had 5 femoral ostotomies ages 2-4 and 10 and a leg length difference of 1.5cm so have developed scoliosis of my spine(age16) . I am now 20 and have been in severe pain and have laberal tears and no hip sockets whatsoever. My case has been handed around plenty of consultants as no one wants to operate on me. I take extremely strong pain meds and struggle to get through the day without extreme pain. I’m currently pushing for double hip replacement. I’m am so happy to hear other girls have had sucesss and are on the road to recovery, and able to do all the things they love. All the best for you Maggie.

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