Lovely review from Australia:
My own clubfoot journey began when I discovered my unborn child had what was believed to be bilateral talipes. Fast forward through my pregnancy, early days with a newborn having serial thigh to toe casting and surgery to correct the position of my sons feet and then moving onto the longer term bracing, referred to as boots and bar, or b and b. Initially for 23 hours a day my baby wore this system which held his feet in a permanently abducted, or turned out position, encouraging the tendons and ligaments to remain stretched in order to keep his feet in a ‘normal’ position. We underwent this for three months before weaning down to 14 hour wear where we continue to remain at 2 years of age. This will continue until he is approximately 5 years of age, based on current recommendations.
Imagine my heartache as a parent when my small child began fighting me to put his b and b on for each of his sleeps, where he would scream and throw himself around, attempt to run away, while we quite literally at times had to hold him down and strap them on. This is the best form of treatment available for him, to give him the best chance at a ‘normal’ future, but when I have to hold him down to put him into his bracing, when cries out to me “no, no, no”, it breaks my heart every time.
I came across My Clever Night-Night Shoes through an online support group here in Australia, Aussie Clubfoot Kids. I excitedly ‘liked’ the Facebook page and eagerly tracked the books progress which was updated with teasers of pictures and phrases from the story. A story that put b and b wear into a positive light, that we could read to our child in an attempt to make the experience a positive one for him on days when he wanted it to be anything but that.
Through the establishment of Aussie Clubfoot Kids becoming a Not For Profit organisation, and a group that I became a part of, we were contacted by Karen from STEPS, author of My Clever Night-Night Shoes, in coordinating the book being available for purchase here in Australia. The logisitics of purchasing the books individually from overseas proved to be costly and it was decided to make the book available through distributing directly in Australia. Aussie Clubfoot Kids were incredibly humbled and excited to be offered this opportunity by Karen to be the distributor of this beautiful book here in Australia, in order to make it readily available for all our little clubfoot cuties.
I wish I could say I had more to do with the organising of the books availability here in Australia, but Karen, all the way in South Africa, has coordinated the entire production. Through her hard work and networking, in late March the first hard copy of the book arrived on the Aussie Clubfoot Kids doorstep.
There are no words that can describe the beauty of this story. Reading through it the first time with my little man, strapped into his b and b and ready to be tucked into bed, I shed a silent tear for all the wonderful things this story made a reality for my child. A fireman, a rockclimber, or his favourite – swimming with the fish in his deep-sea flippers. “Mummy, boots!” he excitedly repeats to me as we turn to the last page. Words cannot express how wonderful it is to have this story which makes “boots” such an exciting thing, though as a parent also I’m perfectly sure Karen knows the feeling only too well. My daughter, who does not have clubfoot, was not content with sharing a copy and now has her own, perched happily on her bookshelf to read herself each night.
This is our own variation of ‘normal’, and how wonderful that we are able to make it all the more so by the words of one talented woman, and share this with the world. Thank you, night-night.
It is available in Australia by going to their online shop http://www.aussieclubfootkids.org/
Karen, Lori and the entire team are thrilled that our book has been received so well and is doing exactly what we planned it should do: encourage children to wear their boots and bars with a view of the end goal in sight – to be able to run, jump, dance and climb with beautiful straight feet!