Zach Pickard, the 10-year-old Lexington boy who has the rapid-aging disease progeria, has undergone hip surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
The surgery is to help Zach walk again. He has been using a wheelchair.
He is expected to be in the hospital for a week and in a brace for six weeks, and then undergo physical therapy with the goal of walking again, said his mother, Tina Pickard.
Children with progeria, which is caused by a mutation in the gene called LMNA, often fail to grow at the same rate as other children, have low body fat and little hair, and have stiff joints and hip dislocation.
Only 80 children in the world have the condition. Zach is the only child in Kentucky with progeria.
Despite his condition, Zach has attended public school, participated in Cub Scouts and has a fascination with Rubik’s cube quick-solving. He is scheduled to be the ring bearer for former University of Kentucky basketball player Derek Willis when he marries Keely Potts next summer.
Zach’s older sister, Brittany Banahan, wrote about Zach’s condition on Facebook on Sept. 7, saying that “for any hope of him walking again without pain, an extensive surgery is required. ... The recovery period will be a long and hard one.”
Zach’s family is providing updates on his condition on the website Caring Bridge under the title “Zach Attacks Hip Surgery.”