A wrong diagnosis had initially been made, but a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Denise Potgieter, last week identified it as Ollier’s disease.
It is a rare disease that affects only one in 100 000 people.
Non-malignant cartilaginous tumours have developed near her leg’s growth plates, leaving her left leg severely malformed. Her hip and knee are permanently turned out.
The paediatrician recently broke Elnye’s leg so that her shortened shin and knee could face forward again.
As soon as the leg has healed properly, the foot will be amputated.
“Lengthening the leg had been an option,” said Potgieter, “but I didn’t think it would be viable.”
Elmarie, Elnye’s mom, had to prepare her for what was to come.
“I told her that her foot was very ill and had to go to Jesus.”
“Daddy, my foot is going to Jesus.”
She agreed, on one condition.
“OK Mamma, but it must be in a purple coffin.”
Purple is her favourite colour.