Children’s hospital holds special ‘Olympics’ for children with rare bone disease

Children with a rare bone disease took part in their very own Olympics this month.


Senior physio Ryan Deakin and the team want to encourage a fragile group of patients to be active and enjoy summer sports

Patients with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) competed in activities such as boccia, kurling, target practice and shot put at the ‘OI Olympics’ at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as 'brittle bone disease', is a rare genetic condition causing bones to break easily from little or no trauma.

Children with this condition are often excluded from sports involving jumping or contact at school. Adaptations such as light weight discus and shot put and ‘new age kurling’, where the stones are on wheels, meant that all could safely participate.

Ryan Deakin, the hospital’s senior physiotherapist, told Frontline: ‘We wanted to encourage this fragile group of patients to be active and enjoy some summer sports.

‘The afternoon events were finished with torch and egg and spoon relay. It was a very successful day, enjoyed by all and completed with a medal ceremony.’

Birmingham employs three physiotherapists on the OI team and is one of only five centres of excellence for this condition in the UK. The hospital provides a range of services including MDT clinics, school visits and training for carers.

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