Dad Shares Sweet 'Heartbeat' Ritual With His Daughter Who's Battling the Polio-Like Illness AFM
A 6-month-old in Oklahoma named Opal Rose Trimble has been in the hospital since her diagnosis, and her father Josh came up with a heartwarming way to bond with her.
May 1, 2019
A 6-month-old from Shawnee, Oklahoma named Opal Trimble is fighting for her life. The little girl was diagnosed on March 2, 2019 with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a disease that is related to polio. While it is considered a rare disease and one that's only been on the CDC's radar since 2014, there were 228 confirmed cases of AFM across 41 states last year. In Opal's case, the disease has affected mobility in her arms, as well as her ability to breathe on her own. In turn, the baby girl has been receiving treatment at the Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany, Oklahoma since her diagnosis. Last month, her mother, Gretchen Trimble, captured a heartwarming moment between Opal and her father Josh Trimble, and the video is going viral.
In the clip, Josh says goodbye to Opal, standing over her crib and pounding his chest several times. After a beat, little Opal mimics her dad, pounding her chest, as well. According to FOX 26 Houston, Josh explained that this ritual is his way of showing his daughter that he is always with her and there for her and that they "share a heartbeat."
"We were just so encouraged because the fact that she was mimicking him told us she knew what she wanted to do, and she did it," Gretchen told FOX 35. "Compared to when this all started, she has made strides. She continues to make small improvements everyday. Her mobility is getting better and better. We still have a long road ahead of us, but we are so encouraged by how much she has improved in the past few weeks."
Opal's mom took to Facebook on Sunday, April 28 to share a positive update about her daughter's health, writing, "The past few days have such good days for Opal Rose. It’s just so incredibly good to see her normal, happy self. ❤️Opal’s sprints were increased to an hour at the end of last week, and these continue to be completely off the vent! She’s still doing twice a day, and we are so happy and grateful to report that she has done amazingly with these. She looks and sounds great during them, and her numbers (oxygen and carbon dioxide) remain where they should!"
In the meantime, Opal's family is facing mounting costs for her treatment and hospital stay. If you wish to donate, you can head over to her GoFundMe.