Seattle, WA – Our son Jake was about three months old when an X-ray revealed he had a 22-degree curve of his spine. We saw an orthopedist, who ordered an MRI and a CAT scan to be done under anesthesia. All results were negative and we were told to wait and see if the curve would resolve on its own. It didn’t. We went in for a second X-ray when he was nine months old, and his curve had already progressed to 45-degrees. His orthopedist recommended that we put him in a brace that very day and sent us to the orthotist (brace specialist). They measured him right then for the brace, as he screamed and cried. While this was happening, I asked how many infant braces this team had done? The answer was, “once.” That moment changed my life. My instinct told me we were at the wrong place for my son.
My husband and I did some research and found ISOP (the Infantile Scoliosis Outreach Program), and through them, found facilities that practiced the proven, Early Treatment Mehta Casting Method. I called Shriner’s Hospital in Portland, OR the next day and booked our appointment.
I then called Children’s in Seattle and cancelled the brace that was being made for Jake, confident that we had finally found the solution we had been praying for. We are so grateful to ISOP and its Founder, Heather, for all the advice and help throughout this process.
We arrived at Shriner’s in Portland anxious to get the casting underway; he was 14 months old and had just begun to walk. We were treated so wonderfully at Shriner’s and are forever grateful for the opportunity to have the early treatment performed. The nurses and doctor were so amazing and his casting went beautifully.
By the end of the first day he was walking around and by day-two, he was bending over to pick things up – no problem! It was incredible to watch our resilient and brave little boy, as he was learning how to walk and sit up all over again. Jake went from 50 degrees to 15 degrees in his first cast, which was amazing!
During our last visit to Shriner’s in Portland, his doctor called while Jake was under anesthesia to tell us that Jake’s curve was at 0 degrees! We were shocked and pleased as his doctor advised us to have him molded for his temporary, follow-up brace. He has been in a thin fiberglass brace – similar to the look of his casts – for 81/2 weeks now.
Every family with a child suffering progressive infantile scoliosis has its own story and journey to share. Most are not so happy. For the lucky among us, there is ISOP and Dr. Min Mehta; the hope they inspire; and the early intervention that allows our kids to lead happy, healthy active lives.
Sonja and Shane, Seattle, WA