Megan Anna Lynne was born in May 1999. Defying the odds, she came into the world healthy and weighed a surprising 9 lbs. 10 oz! At risk for numerous complications in the association of birth defects known as VATER or VACTERL, Megan was seen immediately by neonatalogists at birth. During her first few days of life she went through extensive testing in the NICU. Each exam brought better news. After months of worry and waiting, we were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Although Megan does have associations included in VACTERL, nothing threatens her life.

We learned of Megan’s limb difference and kidney anomaly on a routine ultrasound exam in the 5th month of pregnancy. The ultrasound image of her left arm was clear even to the untrained eye. Having advanced notice that she had only one hand allowed us time to adjust to the fact before she was born. We shared the news with her big sisters, Katie (age 4) and Kyla (2). It also gave us time to gather information, get support, and research health care issues and options.

We never imagined wishing for a child with a limb difference. In Megan’s case however, the fact that having one hand is her ONLY challenge seems like a blessing. Knowing all the frightening complications our daughter escaped, its easier to be thankful for all that she has rather than dwell on what she was born without.

The support we have gathered from I-CAN since Megan’s birth has been an amazing source of comfort. The emotional stories and experiences shared by parents and mentors are constant reminders that our little girl is, and will be, just fine exactly the way she is. We are thankful for such an inspirational support network and we look forward to meeting, sharing, and learning from everyone involved. ~

At age 5 1/2, Megan is a very active, social young girl. She enjoys school and we encourage her to participate in a variety of sports & activities. Although she has tried two different prosthetic hands, she finds it much easier and more efficient to use her short arm naturally.

Megan’s pride & joy is her new brother Owen who was adopted at birth in May 2004. He was born with a left arm exactly like Megan’s and he found our family through the I-CAN network. Based on new medical information we received after Owen’s birth, we have a strong feeling that Megan’s limb difference was actually due to amniotic banding rather than VATER syndrome as our doctor initially suggested.

Megan continues to amaze us with her resourcefulness and adaptability. She definitely doesn’t let one-handedness slow her down. We are thankful for her many wonderful I-CAN friends and we look forward to meeting more of you at future annual I-CAN meetings.