Miracle Child Faces Many Disabilities, But Always Smiling - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/02/03 - Jacksonville

Miracle Child Faces Many Disabilities, But Always Smiling

   A seven year old girl from Jacksonville has faced more adversity in her short life than most of us can possibly imagine. She was born with many disabilities, from clubbed feet to a cleft palate. But, it doesn't stop this little miracle from smiling.

   The pain is in her face... but you can see the tenderness of her heart.

   "It's hard, but she's a joy," says her mother.

   Her daughter is Joy.. Joy Lynn. She was born with a rare disorder called Femoral Hypoplasia Unusual Facies Syndrome.

   The name is long, and so is the list of challenges. Clubbed feet, no ankle joints, no knee caps. It makes walking nearly impossible. Yet she tries. As her parents try to give her the best care, and the most love.

   Her mother Sheila says, "At first, I blamed myself for it. And they told me that I can't blame myself for it."

   Father Tommy says, "It gets complicated. Our biggest problems are like any family's, financial."

   Joy has had 15 surgeries, most paid for because people donate to Scottish Rite Hospital.

   Tommy: "When she had the first surgery on her feet, I asked the doctor just out of curiosity how much it would cost me. He said 'I don't want to be cruel, but you couldn't afford it.'"

   She's not nearly through with the treatments. She's not growing like the other children, but she loves to be the center of attention. The smile is joy, everyday. Her mom says it's given from above.

   "The good Lord made her that way, and that's the way we're going to deal with it. She's OK with it," says Sheila.

   Joy has to leave her wheelchair at school, because the Stricklen's can't afford a van with a wheelchair lift. So she climbs in for the ride home, with parents who love her, and say they'll do anything for their Joy.

   Sheila says, "She's my angel. She's my angel. She's just a normal little ol' kid just like the rest of them. And she's just short."

   Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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