When Julie Bryan gave birth to her daughter, Addie, she had no idea her little girl would be spending most of her young life at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Addie was born with Larsen syndrome, which is a rare condition that causes abnormal development of the bones.
Unfortunately, little Addie was born with her legs “backwards.” At just 5 days old, she was outfitted with her first cast, but it wouldn’t be the last. In the coming years, the young girl would go through what mom estimates to be around 60 or 70 casts, with an additional four surgeries on top of that.
But, it wasn’t until Addie stood on a street corner as she neared her 8th birthday that people were left speechless at the sight of the “girl with the backwards knees.” What she did that day stunned everyone.
Although Addie can’t bend her knees, she was actually much worse off right after she was born. The family couldn’t afford the expensive medical treatments that she needed, and things would have been very bleak were it not for the free care Addie received at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Mom Julie told WFAA:
“When she was born, her knees were backward, her legs were all the way up to her head, she had hip dysplasia, and a club foot. We didn’t know if she would ever walk, if she would ever run.”
Thanks to doctors and other miracle workers at the hospital, Addie can now walk, run, jump, and do so much more! She’s living life as a normal kid who just happens to have a slightly abnormal medical condition.
However, a mediocre life wasn’t enough for her. Addie wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than getting exactly what she wanted, especially for her birthday.
In 2015 when Addie was about to turn 8, she had a big whopper of a birthday gift in mind – but, it wasn’t for her. Addie was intent on raising $8,000 for the hospital that helped make her legs do a happy dance! All this sweet girl wanted to do was pay it forward to a new generation of kids who needed the same kind of help.
That’s when the young lady made a homemade sign and stood on a busy street corner near her home in Rockwell, Texas. Addie began to collect donations so that other children at the hospital could get prosthetic devices or casts, which would help them get well fast!
Her perseverance and hard work paid off after news media coverage of her story spread around the world. Her campaign of hope and kindness raised an astounding $19,500. But, the sweet generosity didn’t stop there!
An anonymous philanthropist heard about Addie’s story, and wrote a letter to the hospital. They were moved by the pictures of Addie as a small baby who would have faced insurmountable odds had the hospital not stepped in and done a good deed. A check for $50,000 was included with the letter on Addie’s behalf, bringing her grand total raised to just shy of $70K.
For a hospital that relies on charitable gifts, that was a lot of casts! Addie says that this story was never about her, but about the place of healing that became her second home. She’s certainly making this hospital a lot more cheerful for all the other kids who call it their second home, too.
Awww, what Addie did for the hospital is so amazing, and she’s such a spirited young lady! The world could certainly learn a few lessons from this beautiful soul.
Watch this video to find out more about Addie’s amazing gift from the heart.