Limb difference no bar to this little boy

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Malakye lost limb MN

Happy chappy: Malakye gets on with life under the loving gaze of mother Anita Duesterhaus. Picture: Supplied

IT’S not unusual for a mum to be proud of her son – that’s what mums are like. But the obvious joy and encouragement shown by Mornington’s Anita Duesterhaus for her 18-month-old bundle of joy is enchanting.

Malakye was born without a right forearm and hand.

In the great scheme of things, such an omission should hardly be noticed, so Ms Duesterhaus’s defence of her progeny, even while he was in her womb, is unsurprising.

“I was offered a termination at 34 weeks,” she said last week.

“There was nothing wrong with my son other than he never grew his right arm, so it shocked me that a termination would even be considered as an option at that late stage of pregnancy.

“I have twins who are now 16 that were born at 34 weeks so, for me, it was never an option and I obviously declined.”

Mrs Duesterhaus underwent tests to determine the reason for Malakye’s limb difference. “It was most likely due to me having had some kind of infection early on in pregnancy.

“He was born at 38 weeks, healthy and gorgeous, and with the cutest little stump I ever did see.

“He is now 18 months old and every day he amazes me with his newest accomplishments. He is a gorgeous, happy young boy and he is so clever too.”

Malakye was not classed as having a disability by Centrelink, which led to a long battle for Mrs Duesterhaus to be able to access disability services, such as physio and occupational therapy.

“I spent a lot of time googling and watching YouTube while trying to find different ways I could help my son achieve his milestones,” she said.

“Finally, when he was almost one, we were taken on by Biala Peninsula disability services in Mornington.

“After six months, Malakye no longer needs to attend as he is at normal development for a child of his age.

“I can’t wait to see what his future holds as I know it will be filled with great things.”

Mrs Duesterhaus has set up an Instagram page: malakyes_mummy, to share her son with the world. She hopes it will inspire other parents facing a diagnosis of limb difference in a child.

Biala CEO Marlene Fox said the organisation had provided early intervention specialist care to Malakye.

“We were pleased to be able to offer him a little extra support and make sure he was on track,” she said.

“He is much-loved at home and going well.”

First published in the Mornington News – 9 August 2016

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