Evy in the Olson Garden

At 7-years-old, Evy has seen and experienced more than most people do in their lifetime. She is a little girl who has a contagious smile and unlimited ambition. She is also a little girl whose journey so far, both medically and personally, has been nothing short of amazing.

In November of 2016, Evy was adopted from China by her mom, Jenny. Upon arriving in the United States, she began adjusting to her new life, starting school, making friends and further developing a close bond with her new mom. Aware of her Cerebral Palsy diagnosis—a neurological disorder that affects a child’s movement, motor skills and muscle tone—Jenny immediately enrolled Evy in physical therapy while they waited to be seen at the Cerebral Palsy Clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Over the next few months, Evy and Jenny met with several Washington University pediatrics specialists. Dr. Matthew Dobbs and Dr. T.S. Park determined Evy was the perfect candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery (SDR), which allows children with cerebral palsy an opportunity to move from depending on a wheelchair to walking with canes … or even the ability to walk, run and play with no assistance.

Within weeks of having SDR surgery, Evy was walking. A few months later, she had another surgery to lengthen her Achilles tendon, which allowed her muscles to return to normal length, her joints to straighten and increase her range of motion. Evy has made huge strides with her physical mobility since being adopted, thanks to her mom and some of the most incredible surgeons in the world.