Apr 21, 2020 / Spotlight

Share Your Story: Giving Hope

Meet David, a volunteer and a dad whose son was treated in our Pediatric Developmental Disabilities department. Learn more about their journey below.

Blog written by David, of Richardson. 

My story is from a dual perspective – not only am I the father of a former patient, but I am now a volunteer at Scottish Rite for Children. 
When my son was born in 1979, he was diagnosed with spina bifida. At the time, we were devastated – we had no idea what it was, what it meant for his future or even how to correctly spell it. Our fear of the unknown was overwhelming. 
As a father, I can tell you that Dr. Adams and all of the other doctors at Scottish Rite have made all the difference in the world for our family. They took the fear out of not knowing what our son's future would be. They helped us to accept the new life that was just handed to us and they gave us hope and confidence, knowing that we could handle whatever challenge or obstacle we may face.  
My son is now 41 years old, a UTD college graduate, employed and lives a productive, healthy life. The staff, the volunteers, the environment and the overall experience is hard to describe unless you have been through it. It can be summed up in just one word – HOPE. 
41 years after my first visit to Scottish Rite, I am now a volunteer and have been doing so for the past 10 years. I work the front desk and see about every patient and family that comes for Wednesday appointments. 
Several years ago, I was working my Wednesday volunteer shift when a young mom walked in with her little boy. She sat down in the front lobby without saying a word to anyone. Her head was down, and she appeared sad. I walked over to her and asked if she was here for an appointment. Her son, who was in braces, walked right up to me and said hi. There was nothing shy about this little boy. He and I exchanged greetings and his mom mentioned they were there for an appointment, but she didn’t know what to do. 
As the mom and I were talking, I noticed that her son had a shunt in his head and from his body posture and the braces, that he probably had spina bifida. I told the young mom that she was in the perfect spot for her son to be treated for spina bifida. The doctors at Scottish Rite would take great care of them. Tears started to roll down the young mom's face. 
I am a real softy when it comes to women crying so I sat down beside her and asked her what was wrong. She told me that her son's father left when he found out about the diagnosis and that her son's grandparents don’t even interact with him. She then said that I was the first person (other than a doctor) who had ever talked to her about her son. 
Through her tears, she gave me a hug and asked how I knew her little boy had spina bifida. I then told her that my own son was born with the same condition and I recognized the characteristics. I was able to share that he is a former patient and has done remarkable things in his life since his time at Scottish Rite. I told her how he has a college degree, lives on his own, drives a pick-up truck, has a job and is very independent. She told me that this was the first time she had ever felt hopeful for her son’s future. 
I was able to share hope with this young mother because I could relate to how she was feeling. She needed hope, she needed someone who cared, and she needed assurance that her son had a future. She found all of that, and much more at Scottish Rite. And at that end of my shift, I left feeling as if I had also been blessed from our interaction. 



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