Like Nemo the fish, Brady has a lucky fin. His lucky fin is a limb difference. Mom was 18 weeks pregnant when an eagle-eyed technician spotted something different in the ultrasound. Brady was missing a finger on his right hand. They would soon learn that his pointer finger and thumb were partially fused, as were his ring and pinky fingers.
In many cases, a cleft hand is accompanied by other limb differences such as a cleft foot or palate, however that wasn’t the case with Brady, and any genetic concerns his care team had were ruled out. And on February 16 Brady came into the world where he was greeted by his parents and big sister, Kennedy. It was the beginning of Brady’s journey, and while a joyous moment for his family, it was a rocky start for little Brady. His little lungs were struggling on their own, so he was taken to the Edwards Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where he was intubated to help him breathe. Within two days he was breathing on his own and after a week in the NICU, his family was able to bring him home.
As a parent of a child with a limb difference, a million questions race through the mind. Brady’s family found answers, support, and a path forward at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Brady’s lucky fin would require corrective surgery to improve his congenital movement, and at the ripe old age of one, surgeons physically moved his index finger and separated his other fingers. He wears specially designed gloves to keep his fingers separated and regularly attends physiotherapy. Kristal says her boy will require another surgery down the road, but the family will wait until Brady is a bit older so they can have a conversation with him about what that would entail.
Their journey and the Alberta Children’s Hospital have had a profound effect on mom, who is documenting their experiences and fundraises through her company Lucky Fin Mama of Two to help other families at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. She loves when they go to the hospital, they are treated like family, not a patient, and everyone is committed to helping not just the littles, but the parents and siblings, too, whether it’s a caring nurse willing to walk and coo with their baby while mama takes a rest, or the attention paid to Kennedy at Emily’s Backyard, Kristal feels totally supported and is comforted knowing they have so many experts to call upon when they need care.
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