Founding Mother Heather Hyatt Montoya
The Infantile Scoliosis Outreach Program is under the direction of Founding Mother Heather Hyatt Montoya and is a program of Ability Connection Colorado, a nonprofit organization established in 1946 by nine mothers seeking equal participation in life for their children.
Through ISOP and the web of support she has created for families affected by Progressive Infantile Scoliosis, Heather carries the spirit of ACCO’s Founding Mothers forward.
What is Progressive Infantile Scoliosis?
Progressive Infantile Scoliosis (PIS) is a rare and potentially fatal form of spinal defect that can develop in babies and toddlers. It is not simply a curve to one side, but a more complex, 3-dimensional deformity. Diagnosis of this progressive form of scoliosis by definition will not self-resolve and requires intervention.
In her desperate search for treatment avenues for her daughter Olivia’s PIS, Heather was introduced to the pioneering work of Dr. Min Mehta.
Early Detection, Early Treatment
Early detection and Early Treatment (ET) are vital to combating and curing PIS, but sadly, scoliosis screening is not part of Well Baby/Well Child Checklists in the US. With your help, ISOP can change this.
Current medical wisdom supports conservative, gentle, noninvasive treatment as the first response to PIS diagnosis. That treatment is Mehta Casting and it is a proven cure for Progressive Infantile Scoliosis. No one knows better than Heather Hyatt Montoya how crucial Early Detection and Early Treatment are. Olivia was not a candidate for Mehta Casting due to her age coupled with the progression of her curvature and rotation, and endured many difficult, painful treatment alternatives as a result.
Mehta’s Growth Guidance Casting
The casting protocol developed by orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Min Mehta is a set of treatment principles that specifically adapts EDF (extension, derotation and flexion) Casting to treat infants and toddlers. During the first two years of life, the human body grows at an extremely rapid rate – Mehta Casting allows this vigorous natural growth to act as the corrective force and straighten the spine three-dimensionally. All the while children run, jump, play, laugh, grow and thrive in Mehta Casts.
It cannot be overstated that Early Detection and Early Treatment dramatically lessens the number of casts required and the total time a child needs to spend in casts. This is the only conservative, noninvasive treatment for PIS and in most cases it is a cure. YES – Early Detection & Early Treatment with Mehta Casting can cure Progressive Infantile Scoliosis!
Training Surgeons in Mehta Principles
In conjunction with host hospitals, ISOP offers free, hands-on Mehta Casting Early Treatment Program (ETP) Seminars to all interested surgeons, pediatricians, cast technicians, and post op recovery staff throughout the US and internationally. Until Heather Hyatt Montoya created ISOP as an advocacy resource, Early Treatment via Mehta Casting was unavailable in the US. Your donation to ISOP makes this Training possible.
ISOP advocates for:
- Early Detection at all Well Baby/Well Child Checkups.
- Early Treatment of PIS via Mehta Growth Guidance Casting, the only gentle, nonsurgical treatment for progressive infantile scoliosis
- Early Treatment Program (ETP) Seminars for medical professionals
- Access to information, treatment options and family support
- Direct support from Heather Hyatt Montoya for families coping with PIS
- The Facebook Early Onset Scoliosis & Mehta Casting group
- The C.A.S.T. Support Group