Meet Amazing Austin

Austin Rupp, Age 2, from Sterling, OH

One day last July, Austin Rupp was just a typical 21-month-old boy playing in his wading pool.

When he slipped, he fell and twisted his leg into an unnatural shape. Austin’s father, Drew, a nursing student, knew immediately that the leg was broken. X-rays confirmed a severe break.

After being admitted to Akron Children’s Hospital, a nurse noticed a blue-grey color to the whites of Austin’s eyes and said it was an indicator of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bone disease. Further testing at Akron Children’s Hospital confirmed the diagnosis.

“We were speechless,” said Austin’s mother, Jayna. “We immediately got on our smartphones and started researching it.”

While Austin has Type I OI, the mildest form of the condition, he still faces a childhood of broken bones – probably one or two breaks per year. Doctors predict that it will continue through adolescence before leveling off in adulthood.

Jayna and Drew are determined not to shelter Austin. He runs everywhere and is just beginning to jump, understanding all the while that he needs to be careful. He’s on a regimen of calcium and vitamin D to help strengthen his bones, with annual appointments at Akron Children’s OI clinic.

“Akron Children’s has been an incredible experience,” Jayna said. “They made us feel at home and have done everything they can to educate us. OI is not that common, so they’ve shared resources and even helped us get in touch with another family with an OI child. It’s been very encouraging.”

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