As a spunky 7-year-old, Elliott King was ready to take on the world. Like other kids his age, he spent his days riding bikes, playing ball games, and running around the playground. Elliott’s life seemed to be pretty normal until one day, in May 2017, he was diagnosed with a rare childhood hip disease called Legg-Calves Perthes. This condition occurs when blood supply to the femoral head (the ball part) of the hip joint is temporarily interrupted and the bone begins to weaken gradually, breaking apart and losing its round shape. The healing process for the disease requires long periods of crutch walking, casting of both legs, and hip surgery. For Elliott that meant he had to be non-weight bearing on his right hip for more than three years. He spent time in a broomstick cast on both legs, endured surgery, leg braces, a wheelchair, physical therapy, and walked with crutches.
“The last few years have been hard adjusting to Perthes,” says Elliott. “At school, I had to use crutches or a wheelchair to get around and I couldn’t run and play at recess. I had a classmate as a special helper every week that would help me carry my books and get my tray at lunch. At home, I had to wear a brace when I slept — It was hard to get comfortable. I started swimming a lot to keep my hip and legs strong while I couldn’t walk. The swim team was fun!”
Although it was hard to be patient for so long while his hip was healing, it was a challenge that Elliott decided to take on with strength and grace. He has remained positive about his situation and has become a great role model for other kids his age. So much so that his teachers at Immaculate Conception school have been inspired by his good attitude.
“I just remembered that as long as I was patient that one day, I would be told I was healed. Until that day, I want to be the best person I can be.”
With his never-ceasing smile and happy-go-lucky attitude, Elliot proved that he can overcome anything after receiving his surgery.
Never give up! Even when it seems like a bad day, there is always something to smile and be happy about.Elliot King
“When I had surgery to put my legs in an A-frame cast, I remember feeling weird and different than everyone else. While I was at home in my cast, I was too wide to fit through any door. I had to lift my leg up to fit through and the cast was very heavy. The doctors and nurses did a good job of making me feel comfortable. They cheered me up. When I got my cast off finally, I remember feeling so happy to see my legs again!”
Now a strapping 12-year-old, Elliott has recently been released to walk and regain full activity with his hip and continues to work hard every day to build his strength. Despite having leg length discrepancy that sometimes may cause him to limp, he is most ambitious about being an active kid again. His favorite activities include basketball, baseball, and most of all, football. But his journey doesn’t just stop with his own success. Throughout his healing, and still to this day, Elliot advocates bringing more awareness about Legg Calves Perthes, which affects one in every 1,200 children. He wants people to know that kids who battle Perthes are very tough, and they have to be willing to overcome obstacles. One day Elliott will still need a total hip replacement because of Legg Calves Perthes, but he plans to face that day with the same mindset he developed at 7 years old — with positivity and courage.
Who inspires you?
Bo Jackson because he had Perthes like me and he played lots of sports.
What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is Allies by Alan Gratz.
Favorite YouTube Channel?
What activities are you involved in? I like to play basketball, baseball, and most of all football.
What’s your favorite subject in school and why?
My favorite subject is social studies because I love to know the history of things. I also love learning about wars.
Who do you like to have lunch with?
I like to meet my grandma and cousins for lunch at Freddy’s.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Jefferson City?
I love to go to the pool and swim.
What’s your favorite movie/tv show and why?
My favorite movie is the Goonies. I like it because it is funny and it has to do a little bit with history.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
If I had to choose I would pick teleportation because I could visit monuments and places around the world.
This or That
Disney or Nickelodeon
DC or Marvel
Fruits or Vegetables
Laptop or Tablet
Pizza or Hamburgers
Michael Jordan or LeBron James
Winter or Summer
In-school or At-home classes
PE or Art
Fortnight or Minecraft
Bike or Scooter
PlayStation or Nintendo
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