The Long Road Back…


Early in June, our son Kai underwent his fifth surgery for his hip.  You may remember me blogging about it earlier.

For those of you who may be newer readers of my blog, Kai was born with a dislocated hip and 2 club feet.  His birth parents abandoned him when he was 2 weeks old in China.  We adopted him when he was 2 1/2 years old.  

You would think that after 4 hip surgeries, that we would be prepared for the difficulties ahead.  But, this last surgery was the hardest on us and Kai.  I think as he grows older, the reality of his condition is settling in.


On our way to the hospital.  Kai’s best friend left a ‘good luck’ poster on our truck.

Kai underwent his fifth surgery for his hip

Hip and 2 club feet surgery

This part is definitely NOT fun.

Kai was in the hospital for 4 days.

Kai underwent his fifth surgery for his hip

He was then confined to a wheelchair for the entire summer.

He held up pretty well overall with visits from his uncle and cousins helping to take his mind off of his limited mobility.


It is not always fun to be stuck in a wheelchair and unable to swim.  But, that didn’t stop his getting wet, just the same.


Who says you have to be able to run in order to race your younger cousins?  A wheelchair pushed by you big cousin works just fine.


A wheelchair doesn’t hold you back from fishing.

club feet

And, a wheelchair makes it easy to hold your niece on your lap.

When school started earlier this year, Kai was still in a wheelchair.  He didn’t want to go to school until he was able to walk because he was embarrassed.

But, he did go and it all worked out just fine.  His friends still treated him the same and because Kai is such a people person – he was happier.

I am thrilled to say that Kai is no longer in his wheelchair.  He graduated to a walker for 4 weeks, which was a relief for him and for my back – carrying an 11-year old boy is not easy 😉

Last weekend, Kai was invited on an outing by his uncle.  My husband stopped by to see how Kai was doing and took the following photo…  

club feet

I was so happy to see my son climbing a rock wall, just 3 1/2 months after his surgery.

club feet

Kai is also able to throw the football with his dad again, which is a nightly tradition, just before dinner.

club feet

Newest plant – a Coral Fountain

He even helped his dad dig a hole for my newest plant – a Coral Fountain (Russellia equisetiformis).

Kai is doing quite well, but is till going in for PT to help with his limp.

Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to let me tell you about Kai 🙂

If you would like to read more about Kai and his journey, you can start here.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
4 replies
  1. David
    David says:

    Your family is so full of LOVE and that is what matters most. I loved this story. I had tears in my eyes for many reasons. I think the rock wall photo was so nice to see after seeing the hardships Kai has had to go through. We almost named our first son Kai. It is one of my very favorite names.
    We shall continue to pray for more healing and blessings.

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