ALPINE, Calif. Charley Royer, 17 months old, has such a swift, strong kick that putting a pair of pants on him can turn into a wrestling match.
His mother doesnt mind. Far from it.
Things that might annoy other parents, Im so thankful for, Lexi Royer said.
This child, who crawls around the house chasing a Yorkie named Bruce and proudly hauls himself upright against the couch, wasnt expected to do any of this. Before he was born, doctors predicted that he would be paralyzed from the waist down. Prenatal testing had found that he had a severe spinal defect and might need breathing and feeding tubes, leg braces, crutches, a wheelchair and lifelong treatment for fluid buildup in his brain.
The condition, spina bifida, occurs when tissue that should enclose and protect the spinal column does not form properly, leaving part of the spine uncovered, with nerves exposed. About 2,000 children a year are born with the disorder in the United States.
Surgery to repair the defect can be performed after a child is born, but the ...