Photo Gallery | Family finds strength in faith, community
CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Being a parent can be tough enough, but when a child is born with special needs, the feeling can be overwhelming.
Jordan and Marty Summers of Conway know the experience first-hand.
"When she was born, we knew that something was there, but we didn’t know what it was," says Jordan. "We weren't prepared for anything. It was almost a mental numbness at first."
The couple’s baby daughter Morgan was born with Larsen Syndrome, a disorder that occurs in one out of 100,000 people. Studies say it’s a genetic mutation that can cause skeletal abnormalities, heart defects and hearing impairment.
Jordan says Morgan, who is now six months old, was born with every joint in her body dislocated. Her hips and pelvis bones are underdeveloped, misplaced, and twisted. Her knees are hyper-extended and dislocated. Her ankles and feet are very double-jointed, and her mother describes the sockets in her knees, elbows and shoulders as "loose."
The Summers have relied heavily on friends and loved ones to help find resources to deal with Morgan’s needs. Jordan calls the support of her church, Antioch Baptist Church of Conway, and Morgan’s School, Pediatrics Plus, a "huge blessing."
"The community has been absolutely amazing to us," says Jordan. "Having the church praying for us has been everything."
Immediately after Morgan was born, a Facebook page was launched. "Praying for Morgan" has more than 3,100 fans as of this writing.
Morgan's Miles, an organization created to bring awareness to Larsen's Syndrome, will hold a 5K as its first event in Conway on April 21. All proceeds will go to Morgan and other Larsen Syndrome patients. Participants can choose to walk or run.
Jordan says she loves her daughter very much, and hopes her family's story can be encouraging for others who care for children with special needs.
"My hopes for the future are really no different from any other parent," she says. "I hope she's happy. I hope she has friends. I hope she becomes the best person that she can be. I really just want her to be able to enjoy life."