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DENVER (CBS4) – A little boy from China is standing tall thanks to a loving family in Colorado.
Joshua Leong was twisted and bent over with a condition that was never corrected in his homeland. CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh met the family who adopted him and the doctor who changed his life.
The Leongs already had four children but couldn’t resist the little boy in need and a doctor who happily took on the challenge of helping Joshua live a better life.
Joshua was an orphan in China and developed severe scoliosis — a curvature of the spine that was never treated.
“His back had a huge hump on it and he was twisted and bent over,” Joshua’s father Andy Leong said.
The Leongs of Colorado Springs had three children of their own and had already adopted Mariah. Then a friend told them about 9-year-old Joshua.
“When we saw his information and how long he had waited for a family, we just felt like the Lord would have us bring him home,” Joshua’s mother Amy Leong said.
So the whole family traveled to China and came home with both Joshua and 5-year-old Isaac. But Joshua’s journey had just begun. In July he had a cutting-edge operation at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. After 10 hours, Dr. Shay Bess released and manipulated Joshua’s curved spine and straightened it with two rods.
“Here’s a kid that’s like a 4-year-old on the operation table and he comes back as a 9-year-old,” Andy Leong said.
“I think he will (stand straight). He still has some residual curve, but we got it down from 135 degrees to about 30,” Bess said.
Joshua has physical therapy ahead of him but his parents say after surviving a Chinese orphanage, he’s a fighter. And now he has a loving family and faith on his side.
The Leongs are hoping other families will open their hearts. They say there are many children with complex conditions waiting to be adopted. They say with good medical care, there’s hope for a full life for them.