A 7-year-old girl who received years of free medical care at a Texas hospital gave a huge gift back.
Addie Bryan was born with a rare disorder, Larsen Syndrome, that made her knees unable to bend. According to Fox4, her hips were dislocated and her knees were turned backward. The girl was in a cast for three years starting just days after she was born.
She had years worth of free medical care and therapy at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. It left her able to walk and even run.
"I think all the kids are going to be happy, and they can get out of the hospital faster."
The girl then vowed to pay the hospital back for the free care.
In Dallas, she stood on a street corner with a sign asking for donations.
“I just hold a sign that says, ‘For my birthday, I want to raise $8,000 for Scottish Rite Hospital,'” she told USA Today. “Me and my friends wanted to have a lemonade stand. We got $60 and then my mom said now we want to do the sign and then we got more money,” Addie added to the Fox affiliate.
Addie Bryan was coming home with wads of cash. When asked how she got the money, she replied: "I just hold a sign."
After word of her efforts made headlines around the United States, she received more contributions, totaling about $19,500.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that is a lot of money,'” she said.
But, she added, “I love my hospital, and I want to help them,” People magazine reported.
According to USA Today, Scottish Rite Hospital Vice President of Development Stephanie got mail with a check.
“I am almost speechless, because I am the one who opened it,” she told the paper. “The anonymous donor wrote about seeing Addie and the pictures of her and then seeing her running.”
The anonymous donor gave $50,000 to Addie’s name after seeing the girl’s gratitude.
“That’s a lot of casts and a lot of prosthetic devices,” Brigger continued. “Every little bit and big amounts help us do what we do.”
Her father praised the hospital for its free care.
“They do everything possible to make it where it doesn’t feel like you are at a hospital. They take very good care of the kids and they take very good care of the parents. It definitely makes it pretty easy while you’re there,” said Jeff Bryan, reported Fox4.
Her mother told People magazine that the girl’s knees don’t bend, but she can still walk, swim, and even run.
“She started [treatment] when she was 5 days old, and since then, she’s loved every bit of it,” Julie Bryan told the outlet. “The hospital staff really took a great interest in her early on and gave her that positive experience. Every time she would go, they gave her toys and popcorn and invited her to different events.”
The U.S. National Library of Medicine says the disorder affects the body’s ability to develop bones.
“The signs and symptoms of Larsen syndrome vary widely even within the same family. Affected individuals are usually born with inward- and upward-turning feet (clubfeet) and dislocations of the hips, knees, and elbows. They generally have small extra bones in their wrists and ankles that are visible on x-ray images. The tips of their fingers, especially the thumbs, are typically blunt and square-shaped,” the U.S. government website says.
It adds that individuals born with “Larsen syndrome can survive into adulthood and intelligence is unaffected.”