Harmony takes her next big step
WITH kindergarten now behind her, brave Grafton girl Harmony Fielden has a few big steps to take until she enters Year 1 next year.
Tomorrow, the five-year-old will undergo a major operation in Sydney's Westmead Hospital that should help her get there.
It will be Harmony's fourth round of surgery to correct a number of growth-related issues with her legs due to a mysterious genetic condition, which medical professionals are as yet unable to classify despite years of testing.
For months now they have believed she may be the only person in the world with her condition.
Speaking to The Daily Examiner on Friday, mum Samantha Fielden said she was feeling a familiar range of emotions as her little girl prepared to go under, this time to remove every plate and hinge in her legs.
The hardware was put in place in previous operations to encourage Harmony's bones to fuse together properly.
"Every plate and hinge, everything metal inside her, should be coming out," Mrs Fielden said.
"(Because there's no-one else with her condition) they don't know what happens from there.
"At the moment she is being held in by the plates but her bones have fused together nicely. We're hoping that this marks the end of her surgeries for a while, and that everything stays put."
While her mum is feeling the pressure, especially after a sniffle threatened to postpone the surgery, Harmony seems to be taking it in her stride.
"She actually saw her friend the other day who has to get grommets in her ears," Mrs Fielden said.
"She told her, 'surgery's good. Just get icy poles and ice-creams off the nurses'.
"She knows the ins and outs and what can and can't happen. I think it's helped that she has been involved."