LITTLE Kacie Peatfield is double-jointed to such an extreme it left her pulling chunks of her hair out in sheer frustration as she struggled to move.
Her 27-year-old mother, Sarah, told today (Thursday) how she spent several heartbreaking months watching the toddler tear out her lovely brown locks because she could not stand up.
While other children her age were starting to crawl, stand and walk, two-year-old Kacie, could only sit on her mother’s knee and watch.
Doctors have now confirmed the tot, from Aberdeen, has hypermobility syndrome, which has left her joints so flexible that even pushing buttons on her toys is a major challenge.
She has so little control over her movement, as her body is so bendy, that she only learned to crawl four months ago, following intense physiotherapy.
The condition, which rarely affects patients so severely, has also left Kacie with low muscle tone, and it is only in the last fortnight that she has been able to walk holding onto her mother for support.
Mrs Peatfield, who first suspected there was something wrong when her daughter was 15 months old, said: “She wasn’t crawling and she wasn’t pulling herself up when all the other toddlers were.
“Everyone thought she was just lazy. But she was pulling her hair out for months. It was all over her bed. We took her to the hospital to see about it and the doctors said it was probably stress.
“It was really embarrassing taking her out because no one understood.
“But since she has been able to stand up, she’s stopped doing that.
“She used to get so upset when she tried to move.
“Now she’s much happier. She just squeals with delight when she‘s on her feet.”
Mrs Peatfield and her husband Brendan, a 25-year-old charity shop worker, were devastated when doctors made the diagnosis.
When Kacie was born on November 10, 2009, there were no indications that there was any underlying problems.
She smiled for the first time when she was just five weeks old and was sitting up on her own by the age of seven months.
But the flexibility of the joints in her hips, legs and arms has meant learning to pull herself up and find her feet has been a major hurdle.
Remarkably, however, just four months after starting a strict physiotherapy regime, Kacie is starting to experience life on the move.
She loves going out for a short walk, holding on to her mother’s hand for support, and is even able to join in games with other children at her local toddlers’ group.
And Mrs Peatfield, is confident that her daughter will be ready to take her first steps on her own any day now.
“She’s coming on so well.” she said.
“She only started physiotherapy in August but she can now pull herself up and she stood on her own two weeks ago. She’s just a wee star and we are so proud of her. Hopefully she’ll walk on her own before Christmas.”
For the majority of people with hyper mobility - which is thought to affect three percent of the population - the affects are not as severe as with Kacie, who might never be able to run and climb, or even ties her own shoe laces, which other children take for granted.
But Mrs Peatfield said: “She is a lot happier now and she is very determined.
“I don’t know what the future holds for her, if she is going to be able to do all the things other kids do. The joints in her arms, legs and hips are so flexible, which makes things like walking and pushing buttons difficult. I don’t know if she’ll ever be able to ride a bike.
“But since getting physiotherapy I see a huge difference in her. She holds onto my finger for support and even tries to run as well.
“It’s just fantastic how far she has come. It’s amazing to see. I’m just so proud of her.”
To help other parents in a similar position, Mrs Peatfield has now set up a support group for families affected by hypermobility. Anyone wanting to join the group can email