Pediatric dwarfism clinic

NOTICEsome of the articles published in the journal Youth Journal
31 Aug 2023
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some of the articles published in the journal Youth Journal


Notice 26 Jan 2023 Views 20EditDelete

Professor Song Hae-ryong meets the eye level with a short person

Twenty-five percent of Koreans say they feel short. Given that the craze for 󰡐Long Legs󰡑 was once great and that efforts to grow taller are still trending, people's desire for 󰡐tall height󰡑 seems to be great. Perhaps none of the young people have any fashion know-how to make their legs look long. However, what we generally say is that 󰡐short󰡑 is only a full sound for dwarfism patients. For dwarf patients who are born between 1m7cm and 1m40cm tall for life, the concept of being tall and short is determined by whether they have dwarfism disorder or not. Like all disabled people, they live without showing up to other non-disabled people. Recently, however, they have begun to proudly show themselves to society. Professor Song Hae-ryong, who was watching their lives, played a decisive role. Professor Song explains that they are not only physically growing, but rather have a better mind and a better heart than non-disabled people. And it was a good feeling to meet the members of the Little People of Korea (LPK) who understand their lives and thoughts and care for them like family members.

people from small countries

Professor Song, who was busy treating patients who were hospitalized at Gyeongsang National University Hospital or receiving outpatient treatment, was very fast. Even while walking, his cell phone rang constantly, and he did not slow down his steps while talking on the phone. The reporter also followed Professor Song and reached the ward. There, the reporter suddenly thought that it was like a space where the fairies of heaven put their wings aside for a while. Their eyes looking at Professor Song sparkled, and there was a bright smile on the faces of those who greeted the accompanying reporter first. They looked so beautiful.

▲ Why I became interested in short height gatherings?

People in my country are sensitive about height. There are a lot of people who are worried about their height. Many people think they are short even though they are of moderate height. Because I'm majoring in pediatric orthopedics, I've come across a lot of patients with deformed bones or too short. The dwarfism that we commonly know is hereditary, so both parents and children often grow up in the same physical structure. Unfortunately, dwarfism patients have often lived in hiding to avoid people's harsh eyes or could not get a job and made a living by doing circuses. Because of this environment, most of the dwarfism patients are subject to life protection and are often medical protection patients. As I encountered that reality, I realized that they couldn't live like that even though they were people who could play a role in our society, and I thought they should have the opportunity to show their abilities in society. You have enough ability to do that. Then I found out that there was a Little People of America (LPA) in the United States. I wanted to inspire people in Korea by introducing the experiences of dwarfism patients in the U.S. who are confidently living in society with a small height. So I sent an email to 100 American members and got a reply. As I read about their lives, I realized how hard they are living. I thought, "It's definitely going to be a hope for short people." Interest in 󰡐Small height󰡑 spread to the Korean Small height Association (LPK) as they saw and communicated with the four dwarf Hwang brothers at KBS 󰡐Human Theater󰡑.

▲ How do we form a group?

Dwarf patients are normal in everything except that their bodies are no longer growing. But society only looks at them with prejudice and neglects their sex, employment, marriage, etc. So if society doesn't create their territory, they'll have to create it themselves. My hope is that there are more members in this group than now, giving advice on each other's lives, and cooperating to find their rights. Like everyone else, they have unlimited abilities and potential. It's to give equal opportunities to develop it.

▲ What's the hardest part?

We have 160 members now. I mean, most of the dwarfism patients, who we expect to be around 5,000 people, are still living out of sight. Some parents are reluctant to expose their children to the outside world while encouraging them to come to gatherings looking for dwarfism patients, and others are frustrated once again, rather than feeling a sense of fellowship while looking at people who look like them. It's the hardest thing to get them out.

LPK Thinks About the Future Together

The day the reporter visited was the day of the 4th LPK regular general meeting. In the morning, Professor Song Hae-ryong had a discussion session with nine LPK college students, Professor Kim Hyun-joo (Aju University Hospital Genetics Clinic․LPK Sponsor Chairman), Kim Song-hyun (Gandi School․LPK Advisor), and Shin Soo-hyun (Busan Employment Arrangement Center for the Disabled).

Kim Song-hyun, who works for the Hankook Ilbo's English newspaper and recently served as a director at Gandhi School, an alternative school, talked about his social life and gave advice to his juniors, and each LPK college student talked about his future hopes and dreams. Kim Young-woong, a second-year computer game student at Cheonggang University of Culture and Industry, said, "I'm taking a second year off, but I'm thinking of transferring to a four-year university and starting a computer-related venture company after graduation." On my way back from meeting them, I saw myself reflected in the window and the busyness of many people passing by. Everyone is striding forward on their long feet, but their expressions are all stiff like angry people. But it occurred to me that none of them had frowned upon, and that of the 󰡐 short stature󰡑, who were busily stepping on short legs. They can smile brightly in this harsh world. They are not physically tall, but they are rather taller than non-disabled people.

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