Johnson County —
It’s no surprise that Mei-Ling Sangsvang can’t walk from one end of Wal-Mart to the other without tiring.
Her spine was fused to her brain at birth. She was born without her left kidney, ovaries or a uterus. She has no nerves to her bladder.
“None of her organs are attached to anything,” Mei-Ling’s mother, Melanie Sangsvang said. “If she were to twist wrong or fall, her organs could easily just rotate around.”
But, thanks to donors who have contributed about $2,000 to the cause, the child will be traveling to Disney World with her extended family to see her favorite princesses next month.
There’s a bit of extra urgency to making the trip now: She can still walk, but given her multiple medical hurdles, there’s a chance that she would have to use a wheel chair if she waits.
“It’s been about a year that she’d been planning this. The trip to Disney is real important to her,” Sangsvang said. “She’s really excited. She loves her Disney princesses. She wants to be able to get down and hug the princesses.”
They are not a rich family. Her father, Casimir Sangsvang, works at Wal-Mart.
Her parents only recently finished paying off the medical bills that accrued before their daughter began receiving disability benefits.
Sangsvang said that once the government’s examiners assessed the infant, “they just waved her through” because of the severity and complexity of her situation.
To a lay person, the fact that the child is alive, let alone traveling half way across the country by car, is mind boggling.
Even Jeff L. Pugach, a Fort Worth pediatric urologist who has treated the bright-eyed 7-year-old since birth, is at a bit of a loss to describe what he’s seen in performing surgeries on the child.