When you witness the poise and fluid movements of Colby on stage, you know you’re witnessing a young dance professional and ballerina in action. In fact, Colby couldn’t picture life without dancing, and nothing, not even scoliosis, was going to keep her from pursuing the art of dance. Discover how Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) was Colby’s life force in helping her stand tall on stage.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition caused by an irregular twisting or curvature of the spine into a C- or S-shape. Scoliosis affects between 2 to 3 percent of school-age children, most often appearing in adolescent girls ages 10 to 15. Different forms of scoliosis exist, including the most common type, idiopathic scoliosis (it’s currently unknown what causes idiopathic scoliosis).
Dr. Amy McIntosh, a staff orthopedist at TSRHC, recalls that Colby’s spine curvature was greater than 50 degrees when the two first met. After assessing Colby’s curvature based on predictive factors of whether her curvature was going to get better or worse, Dr. McIntosh predicted that her curve was only going to worsen with age.
“She had the type of curve that I could do a selective thoracic fusion on,” Dr. McIntosh explains. “I could fuse only the vertebrae attached to her rib cage and leave the vertebrae that are in her lumbar spine untouched.” This type of surgery would allow Colby to support her flexibility, a critical asset for a dancer.
Three months after scoliosis surgery, Colby is standing tall once more. Her shoulders are even; the prominent curve that once characterized her back is gone, and her waist is more evenly symmetrical.
TSRHC Gets Colby Dancing Again
“It’s just been amazing,” Colby remarks about the TSRHC experience. “Five days I was at the hospital, and everyone was so nice.”
Today, Colby is back to pirouettes and pliés, just as graceful as when she first laced up her ballet slippers as a child.
Young athletes are tough, but an injury or upcoming surgery can cause even the most levelheaded athlete to stress.
At Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, we are fortunate to have a psychologist, trained in sport psychology, on our team. Erica Force, Ph.D., tells us that some patients may be more likely to have problems coping with their injury than others.
Athletes are more at risk of having problems coping with injury or surgery, when they:
are at a pivotal point in their sports career or season.
must spend an extended time out of sports.
are already experiencing a particular stress, for instance, divorcing parents or academic struggles.
have difficulty coping with stress.
are advised to change sports completely.
Athletes are more likely to cope well when they:
have good social support with a well-balanced social life, which includes activities and friends outside of sports.
have coaches and caregivers who are supportive and encouraging.
stay connected with his or her team throughout recovery.
Dr. Force says, “Parents can influence children long before an injury occurs by being good role models for handling stress and being resilient. When parents demonstrate healthy coping skills and a well-balanced social life, there is a good chance their children will pick up on these behaviors and apply them to their own lives.”
Erica Force, Ph.D., is available during our regular clinic hours to consult with our patients. Parents can request to meet with Dr. Force to help develop a plan that is best for each child. To learn more about Psychology at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, visit our website at scottishritehospital.org/psychology.
Spring’s return brings opportunities for renewal, refreshment and the annual Reverchon Roundup. Taking place Saturday, March 5, at 9:30 a.m., this annual cleanup event, now in its 18th year, benefits the historic Reverchon Park, just steps from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) in Dallas. Find out how you can join TSRHC in rolling up your sleeves and volunteering your time to care for this community space.
It Takes Friends to Care for Reverchon Park
Reverchon Park, a public park in the Oak Lawn section of Dallas, is like the Central Park of Dallas. Established in 1915, this 46-acre space provides recreation and refreshment for thousands of Dallas residents and visitors each year.
Today, the Friends of Reverchon Park, a nonprofit organization, preserves and ensures that the park remains an attractive community recreational area. Organized in 2005, the Friends unite volunteers from across Dallas and Fort Worth to care for and support Reverchon Park.
Rounding Up for Revitalization
The Reverchon Roundup invites TSRHC staff and volunteers to join the Friends of Reverchon Park in removing trash, spreading mulch, clearing away underbrush and debris, and planting flower beds. Additional partners in the project are the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, the Dallas Police Department, and Arborilogical Services. Additionally, area businesses sponsor breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages for the Roundup volunteers
Ready Yourself for This Year’s Roundup
TSRHC invites you to get involved in this year’s Reverchon Roundup on Saturday, March 5. Volunteer by yourself or gather your family, co-workers, or a group and spend the morning outdoors in one of the most beautiful park settings in Dallas. To get involved, please contact TSRHC Volunteer Services at 214-559-7825 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Parking will be available at TSRHC.
The fingers on my left hand are stuck together except for my thumb. My doctor referred me to TSRHC to get help.
My Moment to Remember:
TSRHC is really nice. Everyone is friendly. The first time there, I saw lots of kids and I knew I wasn’t alone.
My Moment to Shine:
Camp has taught me how to do things I couldn’t do before and I try new things. I feel like we are family away from family.
Give a Patient like Isaac a Moment to Shine: A donation of $500 will contribute toward research that benefits children with hand and upper limb differences. To donate or learn about TSRHC’s Charles E. Seay, Jr. Hand Center and specialized camps, please visit scottishritehospital.org.
Join us as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cotton Patch Cafe Challenge!
Thanks to our wonderful friends at the Cotton Patch Cafe, every donation of $25 made to TSRHC beginning February 29th will be matched in $25 Cotton Patch Cafe gift cards (up to $1,000 per donor).
Give today and claim a heapin’ helpin’ of home-cooked goodness for you and yours, compliments of the Cotton Patch Cafe. But hurry…once we raise $250,000 and reach our $1 million cumulative goal, the 2016 Challenge will end!
All proceeds from the Cotton Patch Cafe Challenge directly benefit TSRHC and allow the hospital to provide world-class medical care to kids, regardless of any family’s ability to pay. With the help of our great friends at the Cotton Patch Cafe and dedicated donors like you, we can continue in our mission, bringing health, hope and happiness to thousands of children. We greatly appreciate your support!
As a nation, we celebrate our loved ones and cardiac health in February. In pediatric sports medicine, we are passionate about heart health. A well-rounded view of heart health means being aware of the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac death.
The sudden death of a young athlete is rare, but when it happens, it is a devastating event for a family, team and community to experience. For this reason, the topic continues to be the center of discussions in sports medicine.
Experts agree on these key steps to protect young athletes:
Signs, symptoms and any history of cardiac problems in young athletes should be reported at each pre-participation evaluation and when new problems develop. Some examples are chest pain, shortness of breath, and passing out.
Knowing your family’s medical history is a critical step to prevent sudden cardiac death in healthy young athletes. Ask your family members about a history of cardiac problems or sudden death in the family.
Learn the emergency plan for adults or youth who become unconscious at schools and sports venues. Know where to find the closest AED (automatic external defibrillator) and be sure it is accessible to all event participants, every time.
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital pediatricians and sports medicine experts, Shane Miller M.D. and Jane Chung, M.D., advise parents to take athletes to their pediatrician for pre-participation evaluations. Though some schools and organizations may not require a release, seasonal check-ups and discussions with the doctor can help to prevent many problems and to address injuries before they become more serious.Learn more about pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital at scottishritehospital.org/sports.
When hitting the slopes, it’s important to have the right equipment. Staying safe while skiing is a top priority for the 35th Annual Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Amputee Ski Trip. In honor of this special event, we’ve put together some important safety tips for fun in the snow.
Wear Sunscreen – Even if the day is overcast and freezing cold, you can still get sunburned on the slopes. The bright white snow reflects the sun’s rays and can cause major burns. To avoid getting sunburned, wear plenty of sunscreen and don’t forget to re-apply throughout the day
Stay Hydrated – Drinking lots and lots of water is the best protection against altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is caused when the body struggles to adjust to higher altitudes with thinner oxygen. Our ski trip participants are equipped to stay hydrated this year with personalized water bottles from our friends at Saint Bernard. Having water on hand as you transition to a higher altitude is the best way to avoid getting sick.
Wear a Helmet – Wearing a helmet on the slopes is the best way to protect your head in the event of a fall. Helmets can help prevent concussions and other major head trauma. Thanks to our friends at Giro, the teens on this year’s trip will have helmets to protect them as they learn how to ski.
Stay Warm – It’s important to stay warm while you ski. Hypothermia happens when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. This results in low body temperature, which can cause organs to function improperly. The teens on the ski trip will stay warm and safe thanks to our friends at Obermeyer while they ski.
Warm Up and Cool Down – When participating in strenuous physical activity, especially when learning a new sport, it’s critical to stretch and cool down properly. Stretching before starting the day can help keep the body loose and flexible for exercise. Cooling down at the end of the day with more stretching or a soak in the hot tub can prevent fatigue for the day ahead.
We hope these tips help inspire safety on the mountain. We wish the teens on this year’s trip a fun time in Colorado.
Thanks again to our friends at Saint Bernard, Giro and Obermeyer for keeping our skiers safe and warm on the Annual Amputee Ski Trip.
We are excited to announce that Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) patient Delaney is 94.9 KLTY’s Student Athlete of the Month.
Delaney pictured with her parents.
Age / Grade: 18 / Senior
School: Dallas Christian School
Why She Was Nominated: Delaney is a great example of faith and perseverance. She has been a leg amputee since she was just 10 days old. She pursues every goal with passion and determination.
She has been playing soccer since she was four, and she has cheered since the sixth grade. Last year, she had an additional surgery on her leg and spent two months without her prosthesis. During this time, she performed and danced in her school musical, Annie.
Delaney has spent her summers volunteering at TSRHC, and she plans to study early childhood development at Texas Tech University, with the goal of becoming a Child Life Specialist to help children in the same way she received help.
**TSRHC is a sponsor of the KLTY Student Athlete of the Month Program. Listen to the on-air call with Delaney, where they let her know about the honor and shared her story with KLTY listeners.
Natalie, age 14 of Fort Worth, has been a part of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) family for most of her life. Born without a fibula bone, she came to TSRHC when she was only 11 months old to have her left foot amputated. But Natalie didn’t let that slow her down. She’s participated in Scottish Rite Hospital’s Learn to Golf programs and by eight years old, this generous girl was organizing lemonade stands and donating the proceeds back to the hospital.
In her free time, Natalie likes sketching and painting, and dreams of becoming an artist one day. She also enjoys playing video games and practicing the piano. Although she’s been skiing before, this is Natalie’s first time on the Amputee Ski Trip and she’s excited to hit the slopes with fellow patients.
About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip
February 2016 will mark the 35th anniversary of the annual Amputee Ski Trip, held each year at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colo. Fourteen teenage patients with limb differences are given the opportunity to discover the joy of skiing and snowboarding, while gaining confidence with lifelong friends.
Since the first Amputee Ski Trip in 1981, the community has teamed up with the hospital to make this opportunity possible to patient families. American Airlines has sponsored the trip since 2005. Prior to that, Delta Airlines supported the event for more than 20 years. Multiple other generous supporters from the community, including the Stephen M. Seay Foundation help make this trip possible!