Apr 13, 2023 / Prosthetics & Orthotics

Share Your Story: Chief Growing Officer

It’s Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, and we want to highlight our patient Isa, who also happens to be the 2022 Gerber baby! Learn more about her journey below.

Blog written by Isa'a parents, John and Meredith. 

What prompted seeking medical attention?
During our 20-week ultrasound, we learned that Isa would be born with a limb difference. We began educating ourselves on the resources available, and when she was born, we met with our local children’s hospital to discuss initial treatment options. We were fortunate to be able to seek out further treatment recommendations from experts in lower limb differences.

How did you learn about the Scottish Rite for Children?
During our initial consultation at our local children’s hospital, they directed us to Scottish Rite and assured us that the providers who would care for her are truly experts in their field. After looking online and reading about treatment options available and testimonials from children and families, we asked to schedule an initial appointment. 

Can you describe Isa’s treatment journey?
We first met Dr. Tony Herring and Dr. David Podeszwa on May 24, 2022. This was an incredible visit and ultimately what helped us to decide that Scottish Rite was where we wanted Isa to get her care. Both Dr. Podeszwa’s and Dr. Herring’s teams met with us together. They noted that this doesn’t typically happen, but they wanted us to be able to meet with both teams on the same day. Everyone present was so kind. Dr. Podeszwa started by reviewing Isa’s images (previous MRI from another facility) and discussing treatment options as she got older. Dr. Herring followed and discussed the amputation process for her right foot. He showed videos of children with similar limb differences doing things like walking, running and even slam-dunking a basketball! Seeing these videos and hearing about the successes of other children with similar conditions helped us to feel more confident in the treatment plan for her.

One of the unique opportunities that Scottish Rite provides is peer support. We were matched with another child and family who had a similar limb difference and had been through the amputation and prosthetic journey. Being able to speak with another child and family, again, helped us to feel confident in the treatment plan and hopeful for all the things Isa will be able to do in the future.

After that, we had an additional follow-up visit with Dr. Herring, and then on January 19, 2023 Isa had a Syme amputation of her right foot. The hospital stay helped to prepare us for taking care of her and setting her up for a successful recovery. We cannot thank our nurses, physical therapists, child life and other support staff enough during our time in the hospital! Isa was so loved by everyone, and we felt the support from everyone around us. The hospital stay was short, and on January 21, we started our journey back to Oklahoma.

After the surgery, we had several contacts with Martha, the nurse who works with Dr. Herring, and with Rosie in Child Life. They were instrumental in helping us with questions that arose post-surgery. It was only a few short weeks and then we were back at Scottish Rite following up with Dr. Herring!

At her appointment on February 13, she was cleared to meet with prosthetics to get the first casting for her prosthetic leg. We met with Director of Prosthetics Don Cummings two separate times before we returned on March 21 for her final fitting and physical therapy. Though the initial sessions of physical therapy were challenging, by the third day, Isa was standing and taking supported steps with her new prosthesis! Brenda H. and her team were amazing at making Isa feel comfortable, so she could take those amazing first steps. Child Life specialist Rosie, also visited with us and gifted Isa a stuffed cat, who has an amputation like hers. We spent three days with Don and Brenda who worked to adjust Isa’s prosthetic to the perfect fit. We are so grateful for the education and guidance they provided us. We even had time for a call to our oldest daughter, Tempe, who told us what color she felt Isa would like for the outside of her prosthesis: purple with sparkles. Don said he would work to make Tempe’s vision come true.

We will be forever grateful for the experiences we have had with the teams at Scottish Rite. This has been and will continue to be an amazing journey. 

How would you describe your overall experience at Scottish Rite?
The experience has been amazing. From our first contact to schedule the appointment with Dr. Herring and Dr. Podeszwa to our most recent visit with Don Cummings and Brenda H., we have always felt that everyone at Scottish Rite is there because they love the work they do each day. Each person you meet greets you with a smile and engages you in conversation. Everyone is helpful and always works to provide resources or direct you to the correct person for your needs. The facility is unlike anything else that we have ever experienced and truly works to give children back their childhood.

What are some things Isa likes to do?
Isa loves ANYTHING that her big sister does. She follows her around and always wants to play. Isa loves to play with Duplos and Fisher-Price® Little People. She loves Sesame Street®, especially Elmo® and Cookie Monster®. She loves being outdoors and going for walks. Isa loves being helpful. She will bring you your shoes if it is time to leave. She wants to help brush her teeth, and she puts away her toys when it is time to clean up. She loves to talk to others and show them things. Isa has a large vocabulary already and gains new words every day! Also, she loves to crawl and climb. Once she gets comfortable with her prosthesis, it is going to be hard keeping up with her!



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