Tag Archives: TSRHC

Karen Apple, a True Hometown Hero

TSRHC Volunteer

In the movie “Pearl Harbor,” Jimmy Doolittle states, “there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” If this is true than there is nothing much stronger than TSRHC Volunteer Karen Apple’s heart. She has been volunteering at the hospital for over six years after retiring from technical sales with IBM.

A culture of volunteerism runs deep in her family from her parents to her devoted husband. While she still has fun and heads out on her Harley at times, she has logged more than 3,800 volunteer hours with Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

So what drives her passion as an exemplary volunteer? She believes that giving back only brings her a sense of fulfillment and purpose in life. Even when she is simply handing out stickers, she knows that her job is helping children smile and ultimately heal.

Doing Your Part

While she volunteers multiple times a week, she also serves on the volunteer executive committee as well as the silent auction committee. Both of these groups help with donations to TSRHC.

Apple is all about getting the patients to their appointments and there is just nothing quite like seeing them after they have recovered. That is what has kept her coming back these past six years and she plans on serving just as much in the future.

For those who are interested in volunteering at TSRHC, there are a number of ways to be of service.  There is a weekday program which is there to help make the hospital’s atmosphere fun, friendly, and relaxing. There is also an evening program where volunteers set up activities.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can visit our volunteer page and find out more.

See the original story that aired as part of Clarice Tinsley’s Hometown Hero segment on Dallas’ Fox 4 here.

Photo Credit: Fox 4 News

Local Superheroes Visit TSRHC Patients

TSRHC VolunteeringBatman and Superman paid a visit to TSRHC’s pediatric orthopedic patients recently. The patient’s faces were filled with surprise at the sight of the masked crusader and the man of steel, but instead of fighting crime, the superheroes were equipped with toys and comic books.

Many other superheroes filled the halls of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children on Tuesday, March 11th. They joked with kids, read stories, and passed out toys, all part of fraternity Beta Theta Pi’s charity event, Heroes for Hope.

That’s right, these superheroes were none other than students from the University of Texas—Arlington, all there to put a smile on a child’s face.

TSRHC Volunteering

Helping Make a Difference

The act of visiting the patients and spending quality time with them is far more rewarding than simply sending money, said Connor McGee, Beta Theta Pi recruitment chairman, who dressed as Batman.

Patients greeted the superheroes with shouts of joy and excitement. After all, it’s not every day that superheroes come to visit.

Seeing the joy on the patient’s faces made it worthwhile for many of the superheroes. Several participants said the experience is one they expect to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

The Heroes for Hope philanthropy is an annual tradition for Beta Theta Pi, and in addition to TSRHC they visited Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth on Thursday, March 13th.

These fraternity brothers got to dress up as superheroes for a day, but their act of charity is really what made them heroic to the patients at TSRHC.

West Texas A&M Students Help Design New Prosthetic

Young, energetic students at West Texas A&M are making great steps forward in both their chosen field of engineering and in helping their fellow Texans.  A group of four students spent a full semester working on a prosthetic hand designed for patients with Symbrachydactyly (a common hand and foot disorder).

The Idea

TSRHC collaborated with West Texas A&M engineering professor, Dr. Emily Hunt, with the idea of designing a new prosthetic hand.  Guided by Dr. Dwight Putnam of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the students took up the project eagerly and were aided through this special project by Dr. Hunt and her 10-year-old daughter Aly who has Symbrachydactyly.

The Design

TSRHC Pediatric Orthopedics

The base design came from a prosthetist from South Africa who posted the design online for any who wished to download for free.  From there, the students worked the design carefully, using common tools including bungee cords, fishing line, and a 3-D printer.  Aly tested drafts of the design and gave the students feedback, helping them understand the needs and preferences of the patients who will actually use the prosthetic.

The design functions through simple muscle movement.  When Aly bends her wrist, the fingers close, when she straightens it, the fingers open.  Aly said it is easy to use and finds it very helpful.  What is even more impressive is that the hand can be produced for a mere $15!

The Human Element

The West Texas A&M students who worked on the project said it was a truly unique and inspiring project.  Engineering students rarely get to work on something that has such a significant impact on actual people with specific needs.

Working with the hospital, Dr. Hunt, and Aly, added a human element that increased the value and importance of their work.  Receiving instant patient feedback and suggestions helped them identify problems, improve the design, and ultimately become more successful engineers.  It was an experience they aren’t likely to forget and their work is sure to bless the lives of thousands of patients to come.

Photo Credit: Sean Steffen – Amarillo Globe News

Third Grade Student Publishes Book to Raise Money for TSRHC

As a seven year old with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), Emily Hough has accomplished more than most. While receiving treatment at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC), Emily had the idea to create sock monkeys for other children that were preparing for surgery.

Raising Money for TSRHC

Emily’s condition is an autoimmune dysfunction that affects just 3 out of 1 million children. Though it is rare it appears mostly in females.  JDM is often mistaken for muscular dystrophy as it has similar symptoms; however, in reality they are very different. The symptoms include muscle weakness, muscle inflammation, red rashes on the face, hands, and other major body joints, and calcium deposits under the skin.

These symptoms are products of the body’s immune system attacking its own blood vessels. Despite being a patient herself, Emily wanted to help others in the hospital, as well as help the hospital itself. Since establishing Emily’s Monkeys, she has had a few opportunities to donate her creations, but she continues to reach higher and higher.

Starting Small and Going Strong

Emily’s father Josh thought it would be a good idea to start a fundraiser, and where better than Emily’s favorite donut shop, The Hole Thing in Forney, Texas? They created special monkey-shaped donuts, doubled all of the proceeds, and delivered it to TSRHC.

Since then, Emily has not let her JDM hold her back. She co-wrote and published her first children’s book based on her sock monkeys and has been paying it forward ever since. Not only has she donated copies of the book to TSRHC and local schools, she is donating thirty percent of the book’s proceeds to three different charities: the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and CureJM.

Photo Credit: Forney ISD Director of Communications Larry Coker

Local High School Students Visit Patients at TSRHC

Every once in a while we are fortunate enough to witness the results of wonderful acts of kindness performed by individuals around the world.  This holiday season was no exception with students from Williams High School in Plano, Texas visiting patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas.

From One Child to Another

TSRHC Patients Visited by Students

The students from Williams High School were Peer Assistance and Leadership members who arrived at the hospital to offer the experience of making holiday crafts to children who were recuperating from surgery.  The process of returning to full strength after surgery can be difficult, and the craft workshop that the high school students set up in the hospital’s recreation room was a perfect way to help the patients say focused on positive things.  The students greatly enjoyed the experience, cherishing the memories and friendships they made during the process.

A Special Hospital

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has long since been a haven where children from all backgrounds could receive the medical care they needed.  Started in 1921 by Texas Masons who wanted to treat children with polio, regardless of the resources the children’s families possessed, TRSRC is now a leading pediatric orthopedic center that has treated more than 210,000 children.

Medical Leaders

Countless families owe the health, of their children to the caring, selfless caregivers of TSRHC. TSRHC is a leader in the medical community in a number of areas, all revolving around the health and well-being of anyone under 18 years of age.  Whether children are in need of prosthetics or treatment for scoliosis, TSRHC is able to provide the best medical care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. See how you can help today by volunteering or donating!

Photo Credit: Chris Coats at Dallas Morning News

Dallas Cowboys Touchdown with Kids at TSRHC

After a frustrating loss against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, teammates were given the chance to put aside their pain and heal their spirits by a trip to the hospital.  The hospital visit wasn’t originally arranged for the benefit of the players, but for the children being treated for a range of medical difficulties at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. But the trip proved to be a blessing for both.

DeMarco Murray’s Experience

NFL Player Visits TSRHC

The Cowboy’s running back, DeMarco Murray was perhaps one of the most frustrated players of the day.  But he said the moment he got up and thought about visiting the kids at TSRHC, his anger was abated.  Monday was about the kids, and he was glad for the opportunity to lift the spirits of those brave, young kids.  In fact, he said that seeing them facing their own difficult problems gave him perspective.  He said, “Just knowing what these kids are going through on a daily basis, how much fight they have, just makes you look up to them.”  (My San Antonio Blog – Tom Orsborn)

After signing autographs and hanging out with the kids, Murray continued by saying that it was “such a blessing and I cherish these types of moments just to put a smile on these types of kids’ faces. This is something we will never forget and it’s something we will never forget as players.”

The Kids

The patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children are treated for a range of orthopedic conditions and certain related neurological and learning disorders.  The hospital works hard to let kids enjoy being kids, despite their medical issues.  This visit from the Dallas Cowboys football players was just one of many ways the hospital and community work together to brighten the lives of these kids and their families.

Check out our website and see what you can do to benefit the lives of the patients at TSRHC!

TSRHC Leads the Charge on Perthes Disease Research

While TSRHC is known across the globe for its excellence in pediatric orthopaedics, it is also recognized for groundbreaking research. The studies TSRHC staff participate in allow physicians worldwide to better understand various orthopaedic conditions.

One particular research study focuses on Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD), a condition that affects the femoral head or the “ball” part of the hip joint. In Perthes Disease, the blood supply to the femoral head is disrupted and all or part of the femoral head dies from the lack of blood flow.

A History of Research

Twenty years ago, Tony Herring, M.D., started a large, prospective multi-center study with the purpose of understanding the outcomes of pediatric patients with Perthes Disease. Participating institutions treated patients with five different methods: non-surgical treatment, which included bracing and physical therapy; surgical treatment, which included femoral or pelvic osteotomy; and observation. Herring and his colleagues published their findings in the 2004 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Herring, along with Dan Sucato, M.D., M.S., led the efforts to invite the patients from the study who were treated non-operatively back to TSRHC for a clinical, radiographic and functional evaluation.

“The results of this study gave us the unique opportunity to review the long-term outcomes of patients who were treated with non-operative intervention. We found that the majority of these patients complained of increasing pain and dysfunction. This was the first study to document these findings at 20-year follow-up,” said Sucato. These results were published last year in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Sucato was recently awarded the Angela Kuo Memorial Award, a $30,000 grant, from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) at the 2013 POSNA Annual Meeting. This grant will be used to fund the third part of this study, which will review the clinical, functional and radiographic outcomes of patients originally treated with surgery. At this time, 18 patients from across the nation have participated in the follow-up study.

Follow-up Study for the Future

One of these patients, Jaclyn Davidson, age 30, recently visited TSRHC for an evaluation with Sucato and Harry Kim, M.D., M.S. Davidson was originally treated with pelvic surgery when she was 7 years old.

“Having the opportunity to evaluate patients like Ms. Davidson after 20 years of follow-up allows us to keep learning about the long-term effects of treatment patterns for Perthes Disease. We are grateful for their time and efforts. The results of this data will help us improve treatments for our current patients with Perthes Disease,” Sucato noted.

As the study moves forward, TSRHC staff will continue to learn more about the condition and how to better treat patients who are affected by it.

To learn more about the disease and the multicenter study research for current patients with Perthes Disease happening at TSRHC, please visit: www.perthesdisease.org.