CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV ) - How cute is this picture of 10-year-old Angelica Rich and her adoptive dad, Richie?
The Caldwell County rising 4th grader at Hudson Elementary has Triplegia Cerebral Palsy and lives with her family in Lenoir. She just successfully went through a crazy-involved surgery. A life-changing surgery. A surgery that ends up interrupting the message from the brain to her legs that causes them to have spasms. It was done by a neurosurgeon in St. Louis. People travel from all over to see him.
In fact, the boy in the room next to Angelica was from Ireland.
The name of the surgery is Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).
"It is performed by cutting away a piece of her vertebrae to access an area of her spinal cord where they can isolate exactly which nerve fibers are causing the spasticity and cut them," said her adopted mother Bonnie Rich.
Before the procedure, Angelica used a walker and/or wheelchair. They're hopeful she'll be walking with crutches – and maybe eventually alone – once she recovers. She was in the St. Louis Children's Hospital for five nights. Now she's back home and going to therapy four times a week in Lenoir and Hickory.
Angelica says she's anxious to get back to riding her bike and swimming. She also loves horses, board games and singing (she can learn every lyric after only hearing a song twice) and… I love this… she says her long-term goal is to wear flip flops and high heels.
She'll be attending Victory Junction Camp in late July.
Angelica has an older sister who is a nurse at Frye Hospital in Hickory and an older brother who works at Disney World (very cool).
"Angelica has incredible faith for a child," said mom Bonnie. "In her short 10 years she had difficult circumstances with multiple homes and families, but she relied on faith. We feel blessed to have her in our lives and blessed with this recent gift of a better, more independent life for our daughter."
Here's to a speedy recovery, Angelica.
Hope you get to wear flip flops and high heels soon.
***CONTACT: Mother, Bonnie Rich, email@example.com