Cole was born at 36 weeks gestation as a healthy and happy 4.5 lb. baby on March 9, 2005.  He has a fraternal twin brother named Jack who does not have any signs or symptoms of infantile scoliosis. At around 4 months of age, we noticed that Cole’s chest wall seemed to protrude quite a bit. We didn’t think too much of it, but at his 6 month pediatrition check up we pointed it out to the doctor. She turned him on his stomach, and we then noticed a few small folds on the right side of his back. She immediately referred us to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who specializes in scoliosis.

We were able to see him at Cole’s 7 month birthday. An x-ray was taken which revealed a 48 degree left thoracic curve with the RVAD estimated around 52 degrees. The next step was the MRI to rule out any congenital issues. Cole was officially diagnosed with idiopathic infantile scoliosis. The orthopedic surgeon said to come back in 3 months to see if it was a progressive curve and that we would most likely be facing years of bracing, surgeries, and eventual spinal fusion. We were devastated.

We were not satisfied with waiting 3 months, and we turned to the internet for more answers and information. We just new there had to be something less invasive than surgeries and wanted to seek help sooner than 3 months.

Within a few days of Cole’s diagnosis we began reading about early treatment and found a contact number for ISOP. A few weeks later, ISOP invited us to the second Early Teatment Trial Project at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Erie, Pa.  The timing, location, and treatment was amazing. We felt so blessed and jumped on the chance to have a less invasive, simpler, and less time consuming option for Cole and his future.

At the time Cole was the youngest baby to have ever participated in the ETTP with Dr. Mehta. He was 8 months old when his first cast was applied. The results of his treatment are as follows:

November 10, 2005 (1st cast):COLE_beforeandafter
-Before cast: 48 degrees
-In Cast:  28 degrees
-RVAD in Cast: 34 degrees

January 19, 2006 (2nd cast):
-In cast: 15 degrees
-RVAD: unknown

March 29, 2006 (3rd cast):
-In Cast: 14 degrees
-RVAD: 28 degrees

May 24, 2006 (4th cast):
-In Cast: 10 degrees
-RVAD: 23 degress

July 11, 2006 (5th Cast):
-Incast: 8 degrees
-RVAD: 9 degrees

Cole is now 17 months old and in his 5th cast. He is walking, climbing, talking, and keeping up with his twin Jack. The casts have not held him back at all. We are told that Cole will have 1-2 more casts, and then the bracing process will begin for 6-12 months. By the time he is 2 1/2, we hope to be done with the majority of his treatment. And the best part is we have avoided surgeries, growing rods, and spinal fusions.

Thanks so much to Dr. Mehta and her dedication to these small children. Thanks to ISOP who has dedicated so much time and effort in educating parents and doctors on the benefits of early treatment for progressive infantile scoliosis, and thanks to Cole’s doctor, at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Erie, Pa., for learning about early treatment and helping Cole be a happy, healthy scoliosis free kid.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at: michelle_r_baird@yahoo.com

Sincerely,

Cole, Michelle and Matthew

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