Family travels from Denmark for life-changing surgery in St. Louis

Gitte Moller holds her daughter, Julie, in the firehouse station on Nov. 2. The family traveled from Copenhagen, Denmark for a surgery to help Julie's cerebral palsy.
Photo by Neil Fischer

NEIL FISCHER | Reporter

Smiles filled the room as a family from Denmark entered Engine House 29 of the St. Louis Fire Department Nov. 2.

But their reasoning for being in St. Louis is much more important than a visit to see the fire trucks. 

The Moller family’s daughter, Julie, has cerebral palsy, a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination.

The family traveled to St. Louis from Copenhagen — 4,508 miles — for Julie to get surgery on Oct. 11. The procedure, selective dorsal rhizotomy, removed the muscle tension from Julie’s legs so she could walk independently. The surgery was performed by Dr. T.S. Park, the chief neurosurgeon at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and the reason why the Moller’s traveled to St. Louis. 

“Julie is doing tremendous; she’s making progress in ways we could only have dreamed of,” Jesper Moller, Julie’s father, said. 

The moment at the firehouse was special for everyone involved. St. Louis Firefighter Eric Trudo said it made him feel good to treat the family to a tour, along with his fellow firefighters.

“It’s a blessing to see someone overcome something like this,” Trudo said.

The Moller family said they are overwhelmed from the hospitality they have received and the nice people they have met in St. Louis.

To see the rest of Julie’s journey as she and her family travel back to Denmark, you can follow her mom, Gitte, on Instagram @gittemoeller.

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