Hector Sebastian has always kept us on our toes. As an infant, he dealt with several bouts of bronchiolitis, very bad gastrointestinal reflux (GERD), ear infections, and Reactive Airway Disease (RAD). Through all, our boy never fussed more than any other baby. By the end September 2010, we thought we had a handle on everything, oh, were we so wrong!
One day in October 2010, his caregiver (the best there is!) at daycare was changing his shirt and noticed a bump on the left side of his back. My initial thought was maybe it was a muscle. Hector’s 12-month check up was just a couple weeks away so we anxiously waited. The bump was the first thing I mentioned to the pediatrician on our visit. Given Hector’s constant office visits, his doctor got to know us more and this
mommy that will keep asking until she gets answers. Our doctor seemed concerned and puzzled, as she had never seen a “baby” with scoliosis. We were sent to get an x-ray that same day. While Hector was getting the x-ray, she called Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to ask for a consult. The Cincinnati Children’s doctors confirmed that, in fact, scoliosis could happen in infants. And, the x-ray showed it, too. At that moment, we got our referral to see an orthopedic doctor.
Hector’s first orthopedics appointment was on December 7th, 2010. I had some reservations about the appointment, as the doctor we were about to see was not of the ones I had heard of. The PA checked Hector and she seemed puzzled, too. Then, we got another set of x-rays and waited. I saw a group of doctors and nurses looking at the x-rays and talking. Now, I got quite worried. When the doctor, finally, comes in, he did it with a whole entourage! After a brief conversation, the diagnosis… Infantile Scoliosis. Hector had a
curve already measuring 35 degrees. The doctor went on to talked about Mehta Cast, the treatment and that we needed to start it soon. As I am still processing all the information I just heard, the doctor is telling his nurse to call Linda in Chicago to have his table delivered as soon as possible. And I see all the other doctors and nurses looking for more information about this treatment. All learning about Mehta casting at that moment and looking at pictures they found online and shared with me. And, this doctor was Dr. Peter Sturm, who had just moved from Chicago Shriner’s. Right there, Hector became the official guinea pig for Mehta Casting for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Hector got his 1st cast on January 3rd, 2011. Fortunately, I had found the ISOP group and The Lucky Cast Club before his cast. I had read and prepared myself on what to expect. As always, Hector did great but the cast was horrible, no taping, padding, or trimming. We did the best we could with moleskin, that we needed to demand from the nurse. After multiples trips to the hospital and several emails to Dr. Sturm’s nurses,
taping, padding and trimming improved greatly. Casts #2 and #3 went a lot better as all the staff was now aware of Dr. Sturm’s work. All the staff at Cincinnati Children’s really has worked on improving this process and both child and parent experience. That doctor that I was not so sure at the beginning really worked his magic as our boy’s spine corrected beautifully and he started wearing a brace by August 17th, 2011. In less than a year, our brave guy was able to stare at scoliosis and put it in its place. The battle is not over, Hector is now wearing a 2nd brace and after a little set back, his back is looking great again.
Through his journey, Hector has shown us how resilient and strong willed he is. With cast or brace, our boy still keeps us on our toes. A scary scene seeing him on top of a baby-walker doing a balancing act and nearing
cast #2. There is no stopping him. Also, we have realized how fortunate we are of having amazing people in our lives. From his caregiver with a keen eye, to our pediatrician and her “get go” attitude, to meeting Dr. Sturm and his nurses, to our AMAZING friends from the Lucky Cast Club that have been with us along the way.
Hector’s journey seems short when thinking of our other brave friends, but we share his story as one of HOPE. HOPE that all our friends WILL beat scoliosis. HOPE that we can raise awareness. HOPE that it will not go unnoticed anymore.
To view Hectors Journey click here:
Hector's Story was submitted by his Amazing Mommy!