In his three short years, Mei Deavers has adapted to more than most adults have.
Born with limb deficiency in both arms and legs, Mei spent the first two years of his life in a special-needs orphanage in China. That was where Tracey Deavers first met Mei while on a trip with a group of college students in 2010.
Though Tracey and his wife Shannon already had four kids of their own, they were considering adopting a child from China before the trip. Once he met Mei, Tracey knew the young boy belonged with his family.
“From the very beginning we prayed and asked God to move mountains for us so we could bring this little boy home. Then, things that shouldn’t have happened started happening,” Tracey said. “One mountain after another began to move. God moved the right things into the right place at just the right time.”
In November 2010, Tracey and Shannon brought Mei back to their home in Cochran, Ga. The couple sought medical advice from several hospitals on how they could continue to make life easier for their newest son. With the way his legs were formed, Mei would progressively have more difficulty walking as he got older.
They sent a picture of Mei’s leg deficiencies to Colleen Coulter, a physical therapist at Children’s. She then sent the picture to Michael Schmitz, M.D., the chief of Orthopaedics at Children’s.
Mei’s right leg required the most attention to prevent future complications with walking. The Deavers were encouraged that Dr. Schmitz believed he could salvage the right knee, opting to amputate just above the ankle.
Other hospitals believed it was necessary to amputate above the knee, a step the Deavers wanted to avoid if possible.
Both of Mei’s feet were amputated in February of 2011. He was fitted for temporary prosthetics in early May and received his new prosthetics shortly after.
“The doctors said it would take Mei four to six weeks to be up and walking on his new legs,” Shannon said. “But it only took him a couple of days before he could walk across our living room.”
In January 2012, he had surgery to straighten the bone in his right leg. Dr. Schmitz hopes that leg will be ready for a new prosthetic by April.
“We didn’t have a clue that when we brought him home, we’d be looking at amputation,” Tracey said. “He has adjusted extremely well.”
The everyday things 3 year olds like to do–playing with toys and having fun with his siblings–are well within Mei’s grasp. There haven’t been any obstacles Mei hasn’t been able to get past.