Story written and submitted by Mighty Aarika’s Mom – Ritika Garg
Don’t worry, she won’t break.” This was a classic dialogue of our new parenthood. But, we knew the truth: our baby (Aarika) has a tendency to break. She has had a dozen broken bones before her first birthday.
March 7, 2016, we were blessed with our little bundle of joy, Aarika. Like every other parent, we also planned to give her the best, but we ended up gifting her a pair of flawed genes causing an incurable disorder, ‘OsteogenesisImperfecta’ (OI or “brittle bone disease”) that makes bones fragile, instead of resilient. Till date she has met with 19 fractures, numerous muscles injuries and a brain haemorrhage too.
After the birth of Aarika, time was flowing swiftly till the moment we discovered that she had a fractured arm, she was just 3 months old & we weren’t aware of OI. Eventually, in her 5th month we were shocked and equally confused to see her broken ribs, collar bone and both the arms. Then doctors told us that her bones are as thin as wires and she is a probable case of OI. Keeping this long story short, first year was obviously rough. We were even scared of touching her.
Gradually, with time and the possible available treatment Aarika started growing up. In fact, she turned out to be a cheerful baby. Breaking and healing was going on simultaneously. Her second year brought lots of good surprises for her, though it began with a severe femur (thigh) break but had many exciting experiences for her too. Like we started with her Occupational Therapy and miraculously with in 2-3 months of therapy she stood up for the very first time. She felt her legs and understood the purpose of having them. Nine months went away and she remained break free.
We started her school too. Let me tell you, getting her admitted in a school was not at all easy. We knocked several doors and got rejections not because of Aarika’s skills but because of her condition. The disabled are not much welcomed in the society but we kept on fighting for guarding her fundamental rights. At last we found a school that took ‘us’(Aarika& her mum as well). We both sit together in class. We cherished school for a month and sadly she re-broke the same femur. Yes, the same sadness took toll over our heads. Her bone took three months to come out of the cast and mean while we started home schooling her. And I must say she is really a quick learner. Now her 3rd birthday was approaching. Wait!!
She broke her tibia of the same leg a week before her birthday. She was re-casted for 6 weeks. Actually, now we are used to face Fractures on almost every special occasion, be it any festival or her birthday. A plaster less day is a celebration for us now. Even after breaking frequently, Aarika never loses her determination. She breaks, she recovers, she starts her journey again!! We have faith and immense proud on her approaches towards overcoming despairs and dismay, strength of wearing a smile in every condition. She always acts as a power house of inspiration for us.
She has transformed us in more balanced humans, loving, caring, responsible and patient. Overall, I can say we discovered the better us in ourselves. Regardless all she is going through, she is one of the most joyful, giggly, goofy little girls I have ever met in my life. She loves to make people laugh and will laugh with you all day long. Yes, she has her own struggles for survival but who doesn’t struggle in one or another way. We pen down saying to all such parents and families to believe in themselves. There is a reason behind they have been chosen for this noble responsibility.
Never Give Up!!
Shared by: Ritika Garg M/O Aarika jain
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