David and Laura Kelly knew adopting a pair of daughters, Nikki and Karah, from Russia would produce a unique set of challenges. Those challenges were compounded by an injury to the youngest of the pair, Karah.
In a Siberian hospital, a nurse left a tourniquet on Karah's left arm after placing an intravenous (IV) catheter in the top of her hand when she was 10 months old. This cut off blood supply long enough that her middle finger and parts of her wrist had to be amputated.
The injury and resulting surgeries left Karah's forearm scarred and thin and her hand curled and bent toward her forearm. Her parents waited intervene until they knew what Karah wanted. When she asked Karah, Laura received a definite response.
"I drew a picture of her hand how it is curled up and another of her hand flat," Laura said. "I asked her which hand she wanted, and she said 'flat' enthusiastically."
When the family lived near Philadelphia, Karah had surgery to remove most of the scar tissue in her hand and to graft on new skin. After they moved to Atlanta nine years ago, they started searching for other options.
"Children's came up because Karah went online and did one of her own searches," Laura said. "She sent me an email out of the blue to check this website out and that she wanted to talk about getting her hand improved."