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'I'm a smart girl' | 5-year-old Montgomery girl with spina bifida is a proud kindergartner

Kaylie has undergone more than a dozen surgeries in her short life. She has another scheduled this week, but none of that seems to slow her down.

MONTGOMERY, Texas — Kaylie Lingor has never met a stranger. She’s a full-fledged, fun 5-year-old in Montgomery.

Kaylie was born with Spina Bifida, which means her spine didn’t fully develop in the womb. She also has hydrocephalus - or fluid build-up in her brain - one kidney, and issues with her feet.

Kaylie has undergone more than a dozen surgeries in her short life. She has another scheduled this week. None of that seems to slow her down.

“Once we realized she could live a full life, we were like okay, we’ll adapt to her. We’ve done that ever since,” her mother, Jessica Lingor, said.

The 5-year-old started kindergarten this fall. A team of doctors with UTHealth Houston has been working with her since birth to get her to where she is today. Her spunky personality has made her a popular patient.

“We have some different goals for her. I had done a lot of surgeries for her feet, but now that she’s in school, wearing shoes is important. It may not have been important when you’re crawling around the house,” said Dr. Lindsay Crawford, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with UTHealth Houston.

The way she was born has certainly come with challenges, but her parents don’t hold her back because of it. Instead, they choose to focus on everything their little girl can do.

“Keep on keeping on. We roll with anything in this household,” Lingor said.