Lauren Parr became an advocate for hip dysplasia when her daughter Tori was diagnosed with the condition at birth. Lauren recently answered the following questions to help bring awareness to hip dysplasia in infants and the importance of early treatment.
- How did you feel when you first learned Tori had hip dysplasia?
I felt terrified and very overwhelmed. Tori is our only child and we were alerted right at birth that she had a hip click. My husband and I were so excited to meet our new baby that in that moment we did not think too much of it. It was not until they took her the next day for a sonogram that the diagnosis was confirmed.
- Were you aware of what hip dysplasia was and how it is found and treated in infants?
I faintly recall my OB/GYN mentioning in passing that breech babies could have hip issues. Honestly, now knowing that she was very high risk, being a first-born female in breech presentation, I wish I had prepared myself and my family better. We certainly did not know how dysplasia was treated and that was a large source of stress for us. We were told that we would try braces and see how that worked. If not, we would proceed to surgery, however, sometimes that may not be effective the first time either.
- What is the #1 message you would give to other parents experiencing the same situation you did?
Everything is going to be okay! It truly was harder on us as new parents than it was on our little one. I am so thankful that she went through all of this at a very early age and now has healthy hips. I did not want to hear any of that when this was happening. My expectations of a perfectly healthy little baby came crashing down the day Tori was put in a Pavlik harness. But she is just fine now and will have no memory of wearing the braces or the frequent follow-up visits to check her progress.
- What tools did you use to educate yourself about hip dysplasia, good products to use and ways to care for a baby with hip dysplasia?
I had googled a lot in the beginning which got me a mix of information from various blogs. I finally decided only to refer to the IHDI website for continuity in care information and am happy with that decision. The site has all of the information we needed and more. It was a lifesaver.
- How did Dr. Herrera help you cope with Tori’s diagnosis?
Having Dr. Herrera treat Tori has been a huge blessing for our family. When we got home from the hospital, my husband and I were very concerned about her hips because it was still unclear if it was okay for us to take her Pavlik harness off and on. We also were not sure what the proper setting should be as I was on a lot of medication after my cesarean and had only taken her harness off a couple of times to change her clothes. I called Dr. Herrera's office and his staff made an appointment for us to come in the next day. I instantly felt a sense of relief knowing that these professionals would be taking good care of us.
Since its inception 10 years ago, the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI), under the direction of the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, has taken the lead in the global humanitarian effort in treating hip dysplasia. Thanks to a philanthropic leadership gift from famed comedian, Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy), and his wife, Cara, and support from advocates spanning over 7 countries across the globe, and with the experienced guidance from Charles T. Price, MD, the IHDI has made tremendous progress in offering hope to people faced with this debilitating condition.