If this is your first time to visit Victoria's page, please be sure to read her story. Just scroll past the first set of photos.
On July 18th 2007, the antibiotic pack was removed from Victoria's leg; she was released from the hospital on Friday, July 20th. On Sunday, July 29th, Victoria made her Confirmation. We will add those photos when we receive them.
Victoria went back to the hospital on July 30th to have some of the stitches removed from her leg. From what I understand she was healing quickly. Another trip was made to the hospital on August 13th for the removal of more stitches and while there was fitted for her prosthesis, and then on August 20th she returned yet again for the removal of the remaining stitches. Finding out that her prosthesis had arrived, Victoria was admitted to the hospital and underwent therapy and instructions concerning her new leg. She was released on August 24th but returned to the hospital on the 27th through the 31st for more therapy.
I understand that during therapy on the 27th, Victoria fell three times, but this did not keep her from "climbing back into the saddle".When she arrived home on the 31st, she was instructed not to use her wheel chair anymore and it was taken away. You can see from the photos below that Victoria has not slowed down a bit.
When I spoke to Victoria several weeks ago she seemed to be in good spirits, but was having phantom pain. The doctors told her if the pain was not gone within six months that she would have it the rest of her life. Yesterday I spoke to my daughter, Beth, who is Victoria's half sister, and she informed me that Victoria no longer has the phantom pain and is off all pain medications. Beth said that while she was visiting yesterday Victoria fell but started to laugh and got right back up. She has to learn to use her muscles to operate her prosthesis
We are grateful for the many prayers offered for this young lady. Please continue to pray for her as well as all those who find themselves carrying such a cross. Victoria sends her special "thanks" to all of you.
Click photos to enlarge
LSU TIGER FAN
This is a story about a fifteen year old girl, who has spent the whole of her life in pain. This is a story of suffering for a whole family and I hope and pray that those of us who have never been through anything like this will stop and think before we complain about our little aches and pains.
Before I begin, meet Victoria.The two photos below were taken July 10, 2007, the day before Victoria's leg was amputated. What a wonderful smile she has.
Victoria and her sister, Beth
Victoria with her dad, David
I have known Victoria since the day she was born and have watched her grow into quite a beautiful young lady.
When Victoria was born, her left leg was considerably shorter than her right leg. After consulting doctors about her condition, it was decided that after several surgeries, Victoria's leg would grow and maybe the difference in her two legs would not be so noticeable. For a small child, the surgery is not a very pleasant experience.
The surgery Victoria needed consisted of inserting metal pins or screws through the skin and into the bone. Pins are placed above and below the cut in the bone and the skin incision is stitched closed. An external fixator is attached to the pins in the bone, which is used after surgery to gradually pull the cut bone apart, creating a gap between the ends of the cut bone in which new bone growth can occur. The fixator functions much like a bone scaffold and will be used very gradually, so that the bone lengthens in extremely small steps. The original Ilizarov external fixator consists of stainless steel rings connected by threaded rods. Each ring is attached to the underlying bone segment by two or more wires, placed under tension to increase stability, yet maintain axial motion. Titanium pins are also used for supporting the bone segments.
Victoria's fixator looked something like this. Her's was attached above and below the knee.
I remember when she was about five years old, she and her mother made the trip to Dallas from West Monroe, Louisiana, for my granddaughter's first birthday. My granddaughter is her niece. Victoria and her mother, Stephanie, were staying in a hotel not too far from us. They left the hotel and were going to go shopping for a gift before they came to the birthday party. Upon leaving the store, Victoria tripped and fell and blood started pouring from the holes where the halo (fixator) was attached. Her mother panicked.
A man and woman were leaving the store at this time and the man ran over and picked Victoria up and put her into the car. Stephanie was too nervous to drive so the man and his wife offered to drive them back to the hotel; the man drove Stephanie's car and the wife followed in their car. It is amazing how God sends help when we need it.
Stephanie and Victoria were calmed enough to make it to the party, but by the time they arrived it was time to tighten the bolts in Victoria's halo. This poor little child was so dreading what she knew had to be done, and her mother was suffering as much pain emotionally at having to put her child through this.
Needless to say, this young lady has been through so much in her 15 years that it is hard for someone like me, or maybe you, to be able to comprehend what her life has been like. Victoria has been through 32 surgeries, she has had gangrene twice and three blood transfusions. Her leg had been broken multiple times.
The picture below was taken after the 31st surgery, performed a couple of months ago. The titanium plate that was holding her bone together snapped in half with a very clean break. The reason she had the plate is because she was just walking along one day (with her crutches) and hit the floor. Her bone snapped in half for no given reason. The bone already had a bow in it but it was supposed to be in the healing process. She had staff infection during this whole time frame.
The device you see on her leg here is called an external fixater. There are 6 large pins all together screwed into her bone so it cannot move, having 3 on each side of the middle piece. This was supposed to keep her bone completely straight and stable. As usual she kept a staph infection. She went for a check up on June 2, 2007 and the results from the x-ray were pretty self explainatory. The bone was rotting out around the screws and the staph infection traveled into her throat. She and the doctors knew that the infection could reach her heart and end up taking her life. Victoria is the one that made the initial decision to have the leg amputated.
Victoria's leg was removed on July 11, 2007.
I am told that Victoria is looking to the future with a lot of hope. She is excited at the thought of having a prosthesis and being able to do many things that she was not able to do before. I hear she wants to play soccor and get involved in other sports, and I have no doubt that she will accomplish all these things and more.
Victoria wants to thank all those who have remembered her in their prayers. When I spoke to Victoria after her surgery she was very excited and thankful that there were people from all over the world praying for her.
Please keep Victoria and her parents, David and Stephanie, as well as her sisters in your prayers. We thank you for your consideration in the matter. I will update this page as she makes progress. I just got word that she is already up and in a wheelchair.
The photos in this slide show are pictures taken the day before surgery and after Victoria had surgery. They are not in order but the pictures speak for themselves.
AND...she is still smiling!
Te Deum laudamus!
32 Roses For Victoria
"I ask the Blessed Mother to give Victoria 32 roses - one for each of the surgeries she has had to endure. These roses are any of 32 prayers or sacrifices that I make, as the Blessed Mother chooses them, to be used for continued graces for Victoria. I especially ask Our Lady to give Victoria graces for courage in the face of suffering - emotional, spiritual, and physical."