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A Christmas gift for JoshuaRather than observing the construction industry wide practice of distributing liquid cheer to clients at Christmas SIAC Roofing and Cladding Ltd have opted instead, for Christmas ‘ 07, to present gifts to much more worthwhile causes one of which is a donation to the Joshua Duffy-Huff appeal.
Joshua Duffy-Huff is a brave happy little child who is now only two years old. He was born, in Cork in December 2005, with Arthrogryposis, also known as Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, which is a congenital condition characterized by multiple joint contractures of his arms and legs. Contractures are an abnormal often permanent shortening of muscle or scar tissue, which occur before birth, resulting in distortion or deformity.
Shortly after Joshua was born, and his condition was diagnosed, doctors amputated his legs and were discussing amputation of his hands or arms. Luckily Valerie Creedon the daughter of Dr. Margaret Creedon who works with Joshua’s autistic older brother William, who is herself an educational psychologist, heard of his plight and made contact with Michigan USA based doctor Greg Greenway. Dr. Greenway agreed to help Joshua and performed pioneering surgery and fitted him with tiny sockets which have now two little prosthetic legs attached. These sockets and legs will require regular replacement as Joshua grows. Little Joshua is also required to spend several hours every day in a custom made frame which will help to straighten his hips which are currently locked in a sitting position. All this treatment, it is hoped, will eventually allow Joshua walk instead of being confined to a wheelchair as his parents were told would be the case. Constant work is also required to straighten and strengthen Joshua’s arms and fingers so that he will eventually have some mobility in these and hopefully will be able to grip objects and be able to feed and fend for himself. This exercise also entails special splints being applied to his arms and hands at nighttime.
The donation made by SIAC Roofing and Cladding to Joshua is only a fraction of what will be required for constant trips to America for surgery, therapy and treatment over the next several years and his parents Gillian and Ger and their friends are constantly fundraising in an attempt to defray the astronomical costs. Joshua’s plight has been featured on the Opera Winfrey show on US television and his initial trip to America was sponsored by American Airlines.
More information on Arthrogryposis is available at www.arthrogryposis.ie and further information regarding fundraising and donating to Joshua’s appeal can be found at www.forjosh.ie .