Marcela is one of the happiest little girls you’ll ever meet. Since the moment she was born in May of 2008, she was not only the happiest of babies, but also the most serene. Nothing ruffled Marci’s feathers—not even the horrible acid reflux she began battling as soon as we arrived home from the hospital. Our little girl’s reflux was so bad that she would often projectile vomit her entire bottle of milk back at us just seconds after drinking it! For this reason, we began propping Marcela up after her bottles for fear of gagging, and we began putting her to sleep on an incline. We also put her on medication for a little while. With time, however, things got better and the reflux was soon a thing of the past. Aside from that, Marci was a pretty healthy child.
Then one night, when she was about 10 months old, I noticed a “hump” on the left side of Marcela’s back as she bathed. I showed my husband, who thought maybe her muscles were developing differently. We decided not to worry too much about it, but as a couple of weeks went by, I began to get an unsettling feeling that this was more than muscle development. The hump felt hard, and didn’t change when she moved in different ways. I quickly made an appointment with her pediatrician. Once the x-rays were taken, the pediatrician called me over to look at the image–and that’s when I saw the curve. My eyes instantly watered, and I just became speechless. The doctor told me that Marcela had infantile scoliosis. I knew what scoliosis was but I didn’t know what that entailed for a baby. “What does that mean for Marcela?” I managed to utter. “Surgery, and I imagine she’ll never play sports,” was all she could offer me. Needless to say, I was a mess by the end of the visit, but ended up leaving with a referral for a “highly recommended” pediatric orthopedic surgeon.
Well the day arrived for our visit, and my husband and I walked in completely unarmed and uneducated about our daughter’s condition hoping to be enlightened by this highly recommended doctor. What a mistake! After measuring Marcela’s curve at 23 degrees and confirming her IS, he suggested waiting 6 months to a year to “see where this was headed.” And when we pressed him about alternative treatments, he immediately brought up the subject of rib implants. Feeling hopeless and broken-hearted, we left the appointment in tears. Things didn’t improve when, a week later, a different specialist called Marcela’s curvature “boring” and told us to wait a couple of months to see what it would do.
By then, we had had enough of waiting. That day, we both took to the Internet (my husband from work and I from home). Without knowing it, we both happened upon the ISOP website and began reading the stories of the children with Progressive Infantile Scoliosis (PIS). That day, I can honestly say, was the brightest spot since this ordeal began with our daughter. After reading every single story, I knew that we were in the right place—there was hope for Marcela! I called ISOP directly and spoke with Heather, who sounded like an angel on the other line when she spoke of the gentle yet effective Early Treatment EDF casting w/ the Mehta Method of casting that was being used to CORRECT Progressive Infantile Scoliosis, gently & permanently. Finally! Here was a way to help our daughter NOW rather than wait for her to get worse.
After speaking with Heather, we got our daughter into Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas within a month. Marcela received her 1st cast at 13 months old on June 22, 2009 and was casted 2 more times until January 22, 2010, at which time we ended the casting process because we had achieved correction.
Casting life was tough, but it was much tougher on us as parents than it was on our little trooper. My husband and I often marvel at how life-changing this all has been—Early Treatment w/ Mehtas Method of EDF casting has literally changed the course of our daughter’s life. I thank GOD for Dr. Mehta, ISOP, for the doctors using Dr. Mehta’s Early Treatment method of casting, and for my mother’s intuition. Currently Marcela is without a cast or brace and is scoliosis-free with no detectable curve!! She is 2 ½ years old now and is as happy as can be to be able to keep up with her older sister. Needless to say, we will monitor her little back frequently until maturity, but we have such high hopes for her future! Whether she decides to play sports or not, the option is hers and her abilities are now limitless.