Evangeline's Story: Hakuna Matata
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze It means no worries For the rest of your days Yeah, sing it, kid! It's our problem-free philosophy
Wow, what an amazing song. I don’t think I ever really “heard” those words and definitely not through the lenses of an 8-year-old Hopeful Hippy!
All you, adult hippies, take notice and adopt the attitude of Evangeline!
Evangeline, you are a rock star and this Hopeful Hippy is very proud and honored to tell your story.
Evangeline is from Canada and always had a leg length discrepancy and she waddled a bit when she walked. She also fell a lot too. Sometimes even just standing. Her mom noticed some of Evangeline’s hip quirks when she was a baby, but the doctors basically told her mommy, “if she is not in pain, then there is nothing wrong!” Basically, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Evangeline has always been very active. In fact, she loved movement so much so that she taught herself gymnastics by watching YouTube. She taught herself cartwheels, splits, front flips and she was amazing at it! Her mom saw Evangeline’s love for gymnastics and enrolled her in a gymnastics camp. It was during that time that she began having severe groin pain.
Again, the family doctor ignored the intuition of Evangeline’s mommy. Mommy put on her Mama Siraba hat and demanded an x-ray after the doctor passed it off as "just growing pains.” The x-ray was done and the doctor’s office called (hopefully sheepishly) and immediately referred our 8-year-old Hopeful Hippy to an orthopedic surgeon at British Columbia Children’s Hospital. The verdict was that Evangeline had a completely dislocated hip and Developmental Hip Dysplasia most likely undiagnosed since birth. She was six years old!
And this is when her mommy’s worries started.
“Major hip reconstruction” - “Revision surgeries” - “PAO” – “Total Hip Replacement”
She also heard the word, “Epiphysiodesis” which is another surgery that could help prevent the leg length discrepancy from getting worse by fusing the growth plate! What?
Talk about challenges! I know mine pale in comparison to Ms. Evangeline’s! In fact, her biggest challenge to start, for both her and her mommy, was to slow down and wait for the surgery. Evangeline was in traction for eight days 23 hours each day. It was hard because Evangeline was so young and her ability to understand the seriousness of her hip problems was a struggle.
It was during this time in the hospital that Evangeline knew she needed a fight song! She needed to be able to have that song that spoke to her. She needed that song that would cheer her and her mommy up.
Hakuna Matata was that song! How could it not be? No worries, problem free philosophy.
Although Evangeline’s mom had to come to grips with the fact that her little one had been walking and doing gymnastics with a dislocated femur, she also had to convey strength and she had to nurture her daughter. She had to hide her anger at the medical system. She had to convey hope.
Hakuna Matata carried Evangeline through three surgeries in ten months. It helped her keep her chin up and her hips hopeful. She is proud of her story and she is proud to show her scar. Her scar is proof that she is strong, brave and courageous!
Her biggest success after she got out of her cast was being confident to walk without a walking aid. She is a strong advocate for herself. She is only 8, but she has no worries. She has a problem free philosophy.
She is enjoying her hip health now in different ways. Evangeline does still do cartwheels and is waiting for the day that she can go back to gymnastics. She loves going on hikes with her mommy and she is now teaching herself how to skateboard!
Her mommy’s biggest success was seeing Evangeline going with the flow and seeing her daughter being such a strong advocate for herself. Hakuna Matata!
Her mommy’s recipe for success is to “honor your feelings as a parent” and your child’s feeling! Try to do your best to keep living. Know that “kids are resilient”. There was (and still is) anxiety, fear, hopelessness. But there is a future. Evangeline knows that she will need to deal with hip dysplasia for the rest of her life, but she also knows, "where there is a will, there is a way so she might just need to get creative with the way"
Evangeline and her mommy have finally come up for air after 3 surgeries in 10 months. Evangeline also just celebrated her 8th birthday and she is loving life.
Evangeline, for your 8th birthday, Mufasa has bestowed on you another name. You are “Evangeline Hip Warrior Princess”.
All of the people in the land will hear your message. They will listen.
Never Give Up.
Keep Pushing On.
Never Let The Pain Consume You.
Smile Some More!
Evangeline, remember what Mufasa said, "Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you."