(KWTX) It truly was an Independence Day for a local 7-year-old with muscular dystrophy who got a three-hour swim unlike she’s never been able to do before, two years after she started a potentially life-saving drug.
“Truly the BEST “independence” day for Faith Opal!!!! Amazed at this girl yesterday!!!!!” Faith’s mother, Leeann Fortenberry posted online.
Faith has spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, a muscle-wasting disease that has left her unable to walk and on some occasions has made even everyday tasks such as brushing her teeth impossible.
Faith, however, has seen a lot of improvement since May 2017, when she started on the drug Spinraza the first and only government-approved medication to treat the condition, in May of 2017.
Leeann, a third grade school teacher in the Midway ISD, says swimming is her favorite pastime and she’s tried 22 different flotation devices to try to help Faith enjoy it, too, but with little or no success.
However, on this Fourth of July Leeann strapped Faith in a small float that fits firmly around her waist and off she went.
“She wasn’t even touching the bottom and wasn’t’ holding on to anything,” she said.
“And she did it for three hours!”
Faith’s mom says the huge accomplishment is in part the result of lots of therapy, prayers and definitely the injections.
“This is our biggest “big thing yet,” she said.
Faith will have her 10th injection on July 16.