The bond between a father and his daughter is a special one, especially when all daddy’s little girl wants to do is follow in his footsteps.
For 6-month-old Opal Trimble of Shawnee, Oklahoma, following her dad is what she likes to do best. But the task is much more difficult than one might expect.
Diagnosed with an extremely rare disease known as acute flaccid myelitis — or AFM — at just 4 months old, Opal has faced a multitude of challenges at such a young age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, AFM weakens the gray matter in the spinal cord. It also causes issues for the nervous system.
“She is the youngest [patient] we have come to us with this diagnosis and each case [of AFM] is different,” the medical director of the Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, Dr. Michael Johnson, told Good Morning America.
Despite being so young, Opal is quite the bright little girl. And a sweet ritual she shares with her dad, Josh Trimble, proves it.
As Josh Trimble beats his chest, Opal looks right up and him and mimics his move. This may just be the most darling thing I have ever witnessed.
“That moment of me beating on my chest was actually Opal and I sharing a heartbeat,” Josh told GMA. “I was letting her know that even though we may not be there physically together, we share a heartbeat.”
“That day in particular we were praying about her not only mobility but her intentionality in deciding to move a certain way,” he continued, “and our focus was on her arms.”
It turns out the arm movement was more than a cute farewell. The goodbye showed Opal was making the strides she needed to make.
In an update to their Facebook page — Opal’s Fight-Team Trimble — Gretchen Trimble shared some good news.
Opal was taken off her ventilator and is reportedly doing well. “We are so incredibly humbled and encouraged by the signs of progress Opal has shown us these past few days…” the update reads. “Thank you, Lord!!”
To stay up to date with Opal’s progress, follow her Facebook page. Opal’s family is asking for prayers as Opal continues to leap over the hurdles her illness has placed before her.
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