patient playing with toys in physical therapy

Nov 06, 2023 / Prosthetics & Orthotics

A Newfound Freedom to Walk

KaDeyja, of San Antonio, enjoys watching Cocomelon® and listening to her favorite song, “The Wheels on the Bus.” During her physical therapy session at Scottish Rite for Children, this animated music video set the tone, creating a playful atmosphere and soundtrack to a pivotal day in her life. At 16 months old, KaDeyja achieved a milestone that any doting parent would record in a baby book — taking her first step. But for KaDeyja and her parents, this accomplishment was extraordinary.
KaDeyja was born with limb differences affecting her right arm, left hand and both legs. Hand surgeon and Director of the Center for Excellence in Hand, Scott Oishi, M.D., FACS, manages the treatment plan for her hand. Chief of Staff Emeritus J. A. “Tony” Herring, M.D., manages the treatment plan for her legs.
“In the beginning, she couldn’t roll over,” Stephanie, her mother, says. Later, she had difficulty sitting up and keeping her balance. “We would prop her up with a Boppy® pillow,” she says. For many months, Stephanie carried her everywhere. Eventually, KaDeyja figured out how to sit up and maneuver on her own by scooting on her bottom.
When KaDeyja was developmentally ready to begin walking, Director of Prosthetics Don Cummings, C.P., L.P., fitted her for two prosthetic legs. And then, the big day arrived. KaDeyja tried out her new legs with assistance from physical therapist Megan Mendoza. Pushing a baby doll in a shopping cart, KaDeyja took one step and then another.
“When she took her first step, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s doing it!’” Stephanie says. “It was very emotional.” With focus and determination, KaDeyja was walking. Every step was a triumph. As the medical team cheered her on, she walked over to each person in the room and gave them a high five.
“Scottish Rite for Children has given us hope,” Stephanie says. “It’s a forever kind of journey at Scottish Rite. They are a piece of our family.”
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