What a brave girl! Sister Wives stars Christine Brown and her husband Kody Brown were delivered some heartbreaking news about their daughter Ysabel Brown — pronounced like "Isabelle" or "Isabel"— and her health. Ysabel had been diagnosed with scoliosis and even though she had been wearing a back brace, her condition had progressively gotten worse and she was facing a scary surgical procedure to correct the curvature her spine. But thankfully, Kody and Christine were willing to do everything they could to help their daughter avoid surgery, and Ysabel bravely accepted the challenge of fighting back.
Ysabel suffers from scoliosis, which is a common, chronic condition where the spine develops a sideways curvature. It affects about 3 million people — but most cases occur in girls between the ages of 10 and 12, the mom-of-six said in a clip from the episode. An orthopedic surgeon suggested that Ysabel start sleeping with a back brace in order to try to correct the curve, but it didn't help.
"Her curve has progressed even though she's wearing a brace," Christine said in her confessional. "So the nighttime bracing is not working. Her curve is an aggressive curve. So not only is she wearing a nighttime brace, she also has to wear a daytime brace now — meaning that she has to wear her brace to school."
Christine said that every morning she helps her daughter out of her nighttime brace and into her daytime brace since the doctor said it's the only option to treat her condition. Ysabel sat down with TLC cameras and opened up about what it's like to struggle with scoliosis.
"Wearing the daytime brace is hard because I look bigger and I can't do as much and it's hard emotionally because..." the 14-year-old said, trailing off as she tried to hold back her tears. "It's horrible wearing the daytime brace. It hurts all over, it [leaves] bruises and squeezes on me and it hurts. It's awful."
But despite all of the pain that Ysabel endured, the daytime brace didn't help either and her curve progressed from 26 degrees to 45 degrees, and her doctor suggested that Ysabel undergo surgery to fix the curve. Her parents wanted to avoid surgery at all costs, so they did some research and found a boot camp in Michigan that specializes in physical therapy exercises that can be used to help reverse the affects that scoliosis has on the spine.
Ok so I'm a day late for International Women's Day, but yesterday Robyn and I were standing out in the cul-de-sac talking and Ysabel runs out and says, Its International Women's Day let's take a picture! So we did! :) So grateful for these and so many other strong women in my life! ♡♡♡ #LivingMyWhy #LoveMyFamily #ThisIsWhatItsAllAbout
Ysabel went through the boot camp, and all of her hard work paid off — through exercise, she was able to decrease the curve in her spine from 45 degrees to 35 degrees, and she can continue with her exercises until she stops growing to keep her spine as straight as possible, Christine revealed in a previous episode.
Her dad, Kody, seems to be super proud of how brave Ysabel is and he gushed about his daughter on Twitter. "Ysabel is one who fits the mantra, 'As beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside,'" he wrote.