‘Silent Condition’: Family of Colorado 2-year-old living with hip dysplasia helps others

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AURORA, Colo. — Hip Dysplasia is known as the “silent condition” and it could be impacting your kids’ health 

One in 100 infants are treated for hip instability, this is according to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

The scary part about hip dysplasia is that doctors are unsure of what causes it, so it’s hard to prevent but you can be proactive. 

Mother Kayley Clark said her daughter Blakely couldn’t walk until she was 18-months-old and that’s when she knew something was wrong. Eventually, she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia after an x-ray at 2-years-old. 

Hip dysplasia means that the bones of the hip joint are not aligned properly, and because of this, the joint wears out much faster than normal. 

Blakely has had three surgeries this year. During one of the surgeries, doctors had to recreate a socket using a part of the femur bone and put a bunch of screws and pins in her leg. She had to be in a full-body cast for 18 weeks and then a brace for another 18 weeks. 

Doctors said it’s not always that severe if caught early.

They are supposed to check for Hip Dysplasia at all of your pediatrician appointments but it’s very easily missed. That’s a lot of what the International Hip Dysplasia Institute is doing; promoting education with providers to be able to really more in-depth, and be able to catch that a lot earlier,” said mother Kayley Clark.  

According to Children’s Hospital Colorado, there is no official cause for hip dysplasia and it can develop in the womb or as infants. 

Blakely has learned to scoot by herself and after her surgeries, is also relearning how to walk. 

Blakely is learning to live with her limitations.

Clark said Blakely tries to play with the other kids on the playground but can’t quite keep up and she gets tired easily. Without her braces, Clark said sometimes the other kids don’t notice Blakley has challenges and they might not understand why she can’t get out of the way. 

Blakely is stubborn and resilient and does what she can to progress forward, but Kayley says as a mom, these things can be hard to communicate. 

“She’s old enough to know that something was wrong and not right, but she’s not quite old enough to know exactly why and I can’t explain to her exactly why. So that was very, very difficult. She thought that if she acted better if she was nicer that she could get out of the cast and it was really really hard to explain to her that that’s not how it was. it was probably like, literally the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do,” said Clark. 

After all the Clark family has been through, they are now working to help others. 

They have designed t-shirts for hip dysplasia awareness. It looks like a pelvic bone but if you look closer you see half of it is a butterfly.

Kayley runs a home décor and art business; so as she sat down to design some t-shirts, she thought of a way to incorporate the butterfly.

They are selling these shirts and proceeds go to the children’s hospital and the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. They’ve sold hundreds of these shirts raising over $5,000 dollars. 

“Then it kind of just transformed into, like, the butterfly has been kind of a symbol lately. And just like the story of a butterfly and the transformation that the butterfly makes it just kind of all became very symbolic for her journey, and we really don’t know what the future holds, she probably has many more surgeries ahead of her in her life. But we know that it’S all going to be ok, it is what it is, and that she is, she is tough. In fact, that’s why this is tough.  B tough means that no matter what the circumstances are, that you can just take one step forward each and every day and it’s really worth celebrating,” said Clark.  

Blakely is making a difference one step at a time. Her family also built a table to help Blakely sit and play independently. Now they are building more to donate to the hospital in hopes of giving families who wouldn’t be able to buy or build something like this a chance at normalcy too.

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