At the age of 2, Grace Turnbull was diagnosed with a rare form of osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that causes bones to become very weak and break easily. Each day, Grace would have so many bone fractures, her parents had to carry her on a pillow for fear the slightest movement could cause a significant break.
Soon after her diagnosis, doctors referred Grace to ErinoakKids to begin physiotherapy. That’s when Grace met Monette, a physiotherapist at ErinoakKids. She recommended ankle-foot braces for Grace and helped her get back on her feet after every major bone fracture. They worked on improving her balance, stretching to alleviate back pain, and walking and strengthening exercises for her bones.
To help Grace move around safely, Monette referred Grace to ErinoakKids’ seating clinic. Here, clinicians work with specialized vendors to help find the right seating solutions for kids with disabilities. Clinicians at the seating clinic suggested Grace use a specialized pediatric wheelchair with extra padding to protect her feet, legs and fragile spine, and even fitted her for a special walker and adapted bicycle.
At home, ErinoakKids’ occupational therapists Tanya and Dana and physiotherapist Amee helped Grace’s family modify their home, making it easier for Grace to navigate. They suggested her parents install a lift for the bathtub, a ramp to help Grace get up and down the stairs, and a low kitchen cupboard to help Grace access snacks.
For Grace’s parents Liz and David, coping with Grace’s growing list of needs was challenging. But ErinoakKids’ social worker Neelu was there to provide invaluable guidance on accessing financial assistance. She gave Grace’s mom the resources and tools to help manage Grace’s anger and anxiety, and suggested Grace take part in ErinoakKids’ music therapy classes.
Music Therapy and Fitness Club
Music therapy uses music to help kids with disabilities develop their communication, socialization and movement skills, as well as their emotional health. For Grace, a fiercely introverted child, music therapy has given her a voice. She now has the confidence to go on stage with her classmates and perform in front of a crowd. Her mom Liz says she is coming out of her shell and rising above her pain and fear to show the world her unbreakable spirit.