Kid Captain: Chloe Dinkla

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The girl who would come to be known as Chloe Dinkla spent her infancy in an overcrowded orphanage in northern China. Her adoptive parents, Megan and Alex Dinkla of Winterset, Iowa, knew that Chloe had clubfoot, and that despite being nearly 2, she could not sit on her own, let alone crawl or walk.

“She had only been given a bottle for food, and the most heartbreaking part of it all: she didn’t know how to love and be loved,” Megan remembers.

Once Chloe arrived in the United States and was examined at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, she was diagnosed with several serious conditions:

  • Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine.
  • Spina bifida, a birth defect in where there is incomplete closing of the spine.
  • Tethered spinal cord, where the spinal cord abnormally attaches to the wall of the spinal cord.
  • A bony mass that split her spinal cord.

“She had less muscle tone than what a newborn infant typically would,” Alex says.

Read Chloe’s story here.