Device means mobility for 7-year-old

Story by – YKHC Public Relations and Physical Therapy

November 15, 2012 - 1 minute read
Atsaruaq "Atsa" Bill, age 7, with sister Alek'aq Motgin, age 4, and Physical Therapists Jesse Gefroh and Keira Beck, is happy to show off her "Rabbit Stander" which will allow her to be more active with her classmates at Bethel's Ayaprun Immersion School.

Atsa Bill will be able to get around a lot better now with the help of a “Rabbit Stander” device obtained through YKHC’s Physical Therapy Dept.

Atsaruaq is diagnosed with arthrogryposis, also known as Kuskokwim Syndrome, which affects her lower limbs. Weighing only 30 pounds, this young girl will now be able to move to keep up with other young kids her age by pushing the apparatus which weighs about half of her body weight.

Physical Therapist Keira Beck says, “We have been seeing Atsa in Physical Therapy since the fall of 2011. After assessing her limitations and strengths, a team of therapists worked with Medicaid (a long, involved process to get this equipment approved) and Frontier Medical (a medical equipment company in Anchorage) to order the equipment.”

Atsa is unable to walk on her own without any assistive device. The stander will give her much greater freedom. It is also adjustable and will extend in height and width as she grows.

Kuskokwim syndrome primarily affects the lower limbs (frailty in bones with subsequent weakness in surrounding muscles) but can also affect the entire body.