Spanx-Like Bodysuit Helps 3-Year-Old Walk for the First Time

Suzanne Murray

jumping toddlerThe parents of 3-year-old Olivia Court were told she would never be able to walk, but now they are jumping for joy. And so is she.

The little girl suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare condition that causes extreme hypermobility, which means that her knees and hips bend in every direction and often dislocate whenever she tries to play or walk.

At the age of 1, she couldn't sit up or crawl.

But a lycra "jumpsuit" has changed all that.

The suit acts as a second skin and helps keep Olivia's joints in place so they don't dislocate; it also helps her muscles become stronger. Doctors say Olivia will get new suits as she grows (about one every year) and hope that as her muscles get stronger, her body will overcome her condition.

Olivia has to wear it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, but her parents say it is much better than the physiotherapy sessions their daughter went through -- they left her screaming in pain and unable to sleep because she had muscle spasms and cramps. Olivia also had two failed operations to realign her hips.

The suit costs about $3,800, but now Olivia is able to play like a toddler should. She took her first steps (without assistance) at 3 years old.


Image via Tammra McCauley/Flickr

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