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Category Archives: Patient Stories

Scottish Rite Hospital: The Leader in Treating Hand Disorders

From a child’s hands, imagination becomes creation. Through their hands, children explore the world around them. For thousands of children with hand and upper limb disorders, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been a source of hope and healing.

The Center for Excellence in Hand delivers a setting for both patient care and clinical research focused on the treatment for pediatric patients with hand and upper limb disorders, says Scott Oishi, M.D., the center’s director. “Our clinical practice [treats] a variety of children who are either born with congenital hand differences or upper extremity differences, or patients who have had trauma or something happen to them after they’re born,” he says. “There are a lot of patients who come through here and get no surgery at all because all they really need is a lot of encouragement and ability to grow and expand their horizons.”

Oishi and staff hand surgeon Christopher M. Stutz, M.D., have the privilege of seeing many of their pediatric patients from the time they’re a few days old until the time they become 18 years old. “We’re able to keep a database of our patients as far as what type of diagnosis they have, what type of surgeries they underwent, and what their outcomes were, based on very good outcome measures,” Oishi says.

The doctors of the Center for Excellence in Hand are able to understand the best form of treatment for each child through their dedication to research. One of the research studies in the center focuses on the impact of participating in Hand Camp has on school-aged children with a congenital hand difference. Our doctors and researchers evaluate a child’s self-esteem, function and participation in activities, as well as their relationship with peers before and after attending Hand Camp. From treating children with congenital hand abnormalities, such as webbed fingers, reconstructing children’s hands with extra digits, or changing the position of fingers on hands, the center strives to give children back their childhood through the hospital’s world-renowned patient care and groundbreaking research. The Center for Excellence in Hand is committed to helping children with congenital hand anomalies become active, happy, productive, and independent adults.

 

John Michael’s Story: A Sign of Hope

Rainbows served as beacons, guiding the way on a family’s journey to hope, healing and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. 

He has been described as light, love and joy.

His zest for life is magnetic. People call him a miracle. Meet JohnMichael. And when you do, don’t underestimate him. He has endured more trials and storms in his 17 years than most people do in
a lifetime. Fortunately, after a storm in 2015 the first of many rainbows appeared, divinely timed and affirming that JohnMichael and his family would soon be on the right road to a place of hope and the journey for Houston-area couple Johnnie and Mike Morman began abruptly on August 23, 1999,
when Johnnie was 26 weeks pregnant.

“We knew it was a complicated pregnancy,” Mike explains. “Our doctor told us, ‘We need to deliver the baby,’ and we were thinking in a couple of weeks, and she said, ‘No, today.’ ”

JohnMichael would not survive if he was not delivered but would only have a 10 percent chance
of surviving if he was.

“JohnMichael is the embodiment of miracles,” says Shawna, Mike’s sister. She and her husband, Tim, and their children, Jason and Melissa, have been by JohnMichael’s side since he came into the world that day kicking and screaming at an astonishing 11 ounces.

JJM_LEE_6753AohnMichael has endured numerous physical challenges in his young life but it was the severe and rapid onset of scoliosis at age 15 that led his family to Scottish Rite Hospital.

In 2014, his parents began to notice a subtle change in JohnMichael’s normally sunny disposition and a physical change in his back. Fueled by an adolescent growth spurt and a neuromuscular imbalance, related to his pre-existing cerebral palsy, he had a curvature in his spine that was progressing at an alarming rate.

The couple immediately sought medical opinions in Houston and had not yet learned about Scottish Rite Hospital.

“They were told they should go home and enjoy the time they had left with him,” his aunt, Shawna, recalls. “They gave them no hope.”

That’s when the rainbows began to appear.

“We were experiencing some difficult times,” Johnnie says. A family friend encouraged them to seek another opinion from a local orthopedist who was a longtime friend and advocate for Scottish Rite Hospital. From that meeting, the family learned more about the hospital and its expertise in treating scoliosis. “After that visit, we were sitting outside praying for guidance when we saw a double rainbow. We both felt it was an affirmation.”

Photo Apr 12, 6 38 56 PMUpon entering Scottish Rite Hospital on November 20, 2015, for their first visit, the family was immediately put at ease. Volunteers extended a warm greeting and guided them to their appointment with staff orthopedist Amy L. McIntosh, M.D., who evaluated JohnMichael’s curvature.

“I told them I could fix it but it would be a long journey, and they said, ‘That’s hope,’ ” McIntosh recalls.

“When she told us that she could help our son, it was like a weight had been lifted off of us,” Mike says. “We were looking for hope and we found it at Scottish Rite Hospital.”
The next step was for JohnMichael to be evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of medical specialists, which just happened to be called the Rainbow Team. The group represents Scottish Rite Hospital’s collaborative approach to patient care. Experts from departments throughout the hospital combine forces to develop an individualized treatment plan for the unique needs of each child.

“Scottish Rite Hospital takes an approach that is so patient-centered,” Mike says, “from nutrition, to surgical, to emotional and physical.”

Later, when the family was escorted to see the surgery unit, elevator doors opened to reveal a rainbow painted on the wall. “OK, this is where we are supposed to be,” Johnnie recalls saying.

LEE_6486ATwo months later, JohnMichael underwent halo gravity traction, in which a metal ring is surgically affixed to the skull and attached to a cable that suspends the body vertically from a metal frame. While it may look painful, this procedure actually provides the patient comfort and relief almost immediately, by removing pressure on the spine and gently stretching it.

“He could breathe better,” recalls his cousin, Melissa. “Physically, mentally, he literally opened up.”

After five months of traction, JohnMichael underwent a second surgery to remove the halo and address surgical adjustments to his spine. As a result of his successful scoliosis treatment, he gained 17 pounds, five inches in height and so much more.

“Scottish Rite Hospital gave JohnMichael his life back,” Shawna says, “and gave Mike and Johnnie their life back, too.”

When asked what they tell others about the hospital, the couple bursts into joyous laughter. “We tell everyone about Scottish Rite Hospital!” Johnnie exclaims.

Betty“This hospital is phenomenal and the staff is incredible, in every area,” Mike adds. “They become your family.”

From Security to Dietary and everywhere in between, JohnMichael makes the rounds to visit members of his extended hospital family during each visit. Shouts for his pal “Super Dave!,” patient care tech David Calles, echo in the halls.

“The care is so genuine. His experience at the hospital has changed him,” Mike says. “We’ve been through our share of medical facilities and there’s nowhere like this.”

Family, friends, church and their faith have been tremendous sources of support for JohnMichael and his parents throughout their journey.

“In the storms of life, God gives us a rainbow of hope,” Johnnie says, “and for us, that was Scottish
Rite Hospital.”

 

Aariya & Aashna’s Moment – Hand Disorders

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Aariya and Aashna are twin sisters who were each born with an upper-limb difference. The twins are treated by the world-renowned hand specialists at Scottish Rite Hospital, where outstanding care is always served with a smile just like tea for two.

This month, we will be giving you a deeper look at our Charles E. Seay, Jr. Hand Center on our Facebook page. Join us for patient stories, flashbacks and interesting facts. For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/hand-disorders.

Learn About Our Fracture Clinic Before You Need Us

At Scottish Rite Hospital, we treat children with conditions from the common to the complex. Through our world-renowned patient care and ongoing dedication to research, we are able to treat each child with an individualized care plan to get them back to being active. Our Fracture Clinic, located in our North Campus, specializes in evaluating growing bones and how to respond to injuries. Through the expertise of our multidisciplinary team and our research in fractures, we can determine the best treatment approach for each patient.

Many patients that come to our clinic live very active lifestyles, competing in sports and daily activities. It is our priority to determine a plan that will allow each child to return to their activities safely and stronger than before. Depending on the fracture, our research allows us to look at both surgical and non-surgical options.

FractureTwin brothers arrived in our Fracture Clinic with an interesting story. Both of the boys broke their collar bone (clavicle) while snowboarding on a family vacation. Carsen and Cameron, both 13 from Midlothian, were relieved that neither of them needed surgery. Although they are taking a “break” from high impact activities for a little while, our team can ensure that once they have finished healing properly, we will have them back to being kids.

Some patients with a collar bone fracture may need to have surgery. Our team, with the help of patients like Carsen and Cameron, are participating in a large research study of children and adolescents with clavicle fractures. By following young patients through their care and recovery, we can help define the evidence-based recommendations for optimal care depending on remaining years of growing and other factors.

Bumps and bruises are sometimes a normal part of kids being kids! However, if your child breaks a bone, you may call our fracture clinic directly at 469-515-7200. To learn more about our Fracture Clinic, watch the video below or visit scottishritehospital.org/fracture.

 

Sam’s Moment – Hip Dysplasia

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Sam loves playing sports. After receiving a diagnosis of hip dysplasia, he temporarily needed a wheelchair and had to figure out a new way to play. He discovered wheelchair motocross. Flying down ramps, it’s Sam’s moment to be fearless.

This month, we will be giving you a deeper look at our Center for Excellence in Hip Disorders on our Facebook page. Join us for patient stories, flashbacks and interesting facts. For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/hip-disorders.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Anthony, age 15 of Fort Worth

Anthony is an active 15 year old from Fort Worth, Texas. In 2008, Anthony had an accident and one of his legs was amputated below the knee. That hasn’t slowed him down. Anthony is very athletic and played on his school basketball team up until this year. He has never been to Colorado and is excited about the chance to try both skiing and snowboarding for the first time. Anthony has signed up to take a class in welding, and he thinks he may want to be a welder when he grows up. He says welding is a combination of art and technology, and that really excites him. Eventually, Anthony thinks he might want to attend Baylor University.

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

February 2017 will mark the 36th 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 receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Aryanna, age 14 of Weatherford

Aryana_BlogAryanna, age 14 of Weatherford, has been a patient at Scottish Rite Hospital since she was 3 years old. She uses a prosthesis because of a lower limb difference in which one leg is shorter than the other. However, her time at the hospital began with having both scoliosis and hip surgery when she was younger.

Today, Aryanna is part of a color guard team and enjoys performing in theatre. When she grows up, she hopes to become a forensic pathologist. This is Aryanna’s first time to go on the ski trip and she is looking forward to meeting new friends who can relate to the same life struggles.

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

February 2017 will mark the 36th 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 receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Jordan, age 17 of Sadler

Jordan_BlogJordan, age 17 of Sadler, loves snowboarding. Jordan wears a prosthesis on his right leg, and he has been a patient at the hospital for the last five years. His favorite things include skittles, playing basketball and hanging out with friends. Though this is his first ski trip with Scottish Rite Hospital, Jordan first learned to snowboard six years ago. That is something he’s really proud of, and he can’t wait to get back on the mountain.

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

February 2017 will mark the 36th 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 receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Diana, age 15 of Garland

Christy_BlogDiana, age 15 of Garland, has been coming to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children since she was a baby. She wears a prosthetic leg and has never been skiing or snowboarding. However, Diana says she loves snow and cold weather! She plays the violin in her school orchestra and her favorite things include chocolate covered strawberries and the TV show Gravity Falls. When she grows up, Diana hopes to be a veterinarian. Diana says she looks up to her parents, and the thing she is most proud of is knowing her mom and dad are proud of her.

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

February 2017 will mark the 36th 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 receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Harrison, age 14 of Burleson

Harrison_BlogHarrison, age 14 of Burleson, has been a patient of Scottish Rite Hospital since he was an infant. He was born with a condition called fibular hemimelia, which resulted in a right leg amputation. In his spare time, Harrison enjoys riding his bike and playing video games with friends. This will be Harrison’s first time skiing. While he’s excited to get on the mountain, this pepperoni pizza lover is especially excited for the pizza party that happens on Friday night of the Ski Trip.

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

February 2017 will mark the 36th 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 receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.