FRAGILE Zoe Lush has broken nearly every bone in her body at just six-years old.
Little Zoe suffers from a rare condition that means her bones are so delicate that they “break in the wind”.
Her condition is so severe that doctors didn’t think she would survive birth.
The little girl broke several bones whilst she was still in the womb, shattered her collarbone during birth and broke another 100 bones before her first birthday.
Now Zoe has broken almost every bone in her body and almost had her spinal cord severed after the bones in her neck began to wear away.
Zoe’s mum, Chelsea Lush, said: “Zoe is very fragile, she literally breaks in the wind.
“There have been some close calls but she astonishes us every single day.
“The doctors said she wouldn’t even make it through birth but now she’s coming up to her seventh birthday and she is a loving and happy little girl.
“We wouldn’t change a thing about her.”
Zoe suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition that means that she can break a rib simply by sneezing and a fall can be catastrophic.
The disorder is caused by a genetic mutation and affects just one in 50,000 people.
Chelsea, from Huntington Beach, California, was just 20-years-old when she became pregnant.
Scans later revealed little Zoe’s condition and doctors informed Chelsea of her right to have an abortion if she chose to.
Chelsea said: “We were doing 4D ultrasound and they were able to see her multiple fractures that were fresh and healing already.
“She had broken ribs, the arms and legs were about six weeks behind what they should have been and they told us that she had very severe condition and that she possibly wouldn’t make it until her birth date.”
Chelsea chose to continue with the pregnancy and gave birth to Zoe by caesarean section in October 2010.
Zoe broke her collarbone during delivery and was born with multiple healing fractures.
She stayed in the hospital for a week where she received an IV treatment with a drug called Pamidronate to help strengthen her bones and reduce the number of fractures she suffered.
But the early days were not without their challenges for the new parents.
Dad, Curtis, said: “When we were changing Zoe’s diapers in the beginning it took three of us.
“One person to lift her pelvis, one person to slide the diaper in and out and then another person to hold her arms because babies have startle reflex.
“I was on arms duty and she startled in to my hand. Her radius just snapped – It sounded like a broken chicken bone. We had to learn a lot, very quickly.”
Zoe’s bones break so often that Chelsea, 27, and Curtis, 28, have learned to splint the fractures themselves.
In her early years Zoe would break a bone about once a week.
Curtis, a surgical technologist, said: “Zoe has broken countless amount of bones – we stopped counting at a 100 at around her first birthday.
“We used to keep a list because we go to a yearly clinic where we had to update them but we stopped counting because it was pointless – we knew she would be breaking bones for the rest of her life.”
Now Zoe attends physical therapy, and her strengthening muscles have begun to somewhat protect her bones, meaning the fractures are less frequent than they once were.
She has also had metal rods inserted into her limbs and in July 2016 underwent a cervical spinal fusion – a surgery that joins some of neck bones together.
Since then she has worn a neck brace, which will be removed later this month.
But despite the challenges she faces daily, Zoe is a bright and happy child who enjoys baking, painting, and playing with her three-year-old brother, Felix.
Chelsea said: “Zoe is a social butterfly with all of the other kids. She doesn’t notice any differences that they see and she will make friends with everyone that she meets
“She is able to do every other thing that other kids are, other than run on their feet but she can race them just as fast in her wheelchair.”
Although her condition is incurable, Zoe has a good quality of life, and her parents hope that research will give her a brighter future.
Chelsea said: “I know it’s hard for her but every human goes through hard things.
“This is just her case and I think the condition makes her the special and compassionate person that she is.
“In the future I hope she has the same opportunities as everyone else and above everything I just want her to be happy.”