Painting is a Great Therapy for Girl 4 with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Artwork provides some comfort for this 4 year old child with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

By Scott Fishman, Forum Publishing Group

nimue“Nimue Fong Yee, 4, painted for the first time at Young At Art Museum in Davie during its Valentine’s Day event. The following weekend, her grandmother gave her a canvas and paints — she hasn’t stopped since, and her parents say it’s made a world of difference.

The Davie girl was diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome, a condition in which joints easily move beyond their normal range. Her mother, Eliana, 31, said she and her daughter have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

“People with EDS are affected differently,” she said. “They can have organ ruptures, the skin tears easily, gastrointestinal issues, frequent joint dislocations, etc. Basically, anything can happen to us.”

A month before Nimue’s diagnosis last year, she saw her mother fall down the stairs. She woke up minutes later to her daughter crying hysterically and screaming.

“She was traumatized by this event and developed behavioral issues since then,” Fong Yee said. “She cried and screamed over every little thing. … It was a difficult year.”

Her parents say that painting has made an immeasurable difference for Nimue.

“It’s like having the old Nimue back again,” her mother said. “My husband sees the changes in her personality, as well, and it’s a relief to him, especially since he isn’t home as much anymore to help me. He is working two jobs to keep us afloat. … We are so thankful for how painting has helped her emotionally.”

Nimue enjoys painting landscapes with flowers, houses and ponds. She usually paints two 12-by-16-inch paintings by the end of each weekend and recently participated in Young At Art’s Festival of the Arts.

“This was the very first art show she participated in, and our whole family is excited,” Fong Yee said. “Our friends and family were even fighting over which paintings to buy. It’s absolutely wonderful how much support she has gained in such a short amount of time.”

Fong Yee is planning on organizing a charity to help those affected by EDS and their families. She created a Facebook group, The Fong Yee EDS Charity and Awareness.”

“Hypothetically, I would pick a story of a needy EDS person or family, such as needing to build wheelchair ramps in their home,” she said. “I would promote their story in hopes to garner donations for them. … I am doing this because of Nimue. Doctors [and] the media have no idea what Ehlers-Danlos is, and because of this, there is no help for us. I want things to be different for Nimue when she gets older.”

Nimue is using her talent to create her own method of displaying EDS Awareness through her paintings.

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