Baby Steven on blanket in field

May 21, 2019 / Clubfoot & Foot Disorders

Share Your Story: The Value of Kindness

Meet Steven, a patient who is treated by our experts in the Center for Excellence in Foot. Learn more about his journey below.

Blog written by Steven's mom, Kristine, of Nevada, TX. 

When Steven was born, I held him in my arms and examined every perfect little thing about him but was surprised by his curly little foot. I chose to not have any ultrasounds during my pregnancy, so this caught us off guard. I asked my midwife if this could be clubfoot. She thought it might simply be a temporary position, but suggested we get it checked out by his pediatrician. 
One foot was smaller than the other, appeared as if it could not move in all directions and was very curled up. I just had a gut feeling that something was wrong. When Steven was just a couple of days old, he was seen by our pediatrician. They referred us to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and when Steven was just 1-week old, we had our first appointment at the hospital. 
I was so happy to have this appointment scheduled. At this point, I still knew very little about this condition. My husband had been doing some research and said that we were definitely taking Steven to the best place for clubfoot treatment and that we could trust the doctors there.
On his first visit, he was diagnosed with unilateral clubfoot. It was as severe of a case as it could be, before crossing over into a more complex category. I was expecting this visit to include a formal diagnosis and maybe even a discussion of the treatment plan. I did not expect to be going home with my newborn in a plaster cast that day, but I am thankful we didn’t waste any time and he was able to begin treatment right away.
I hope I never forget what happened next. While it was difficult for me to hand over my newborn son to people I had just met, I believed they would do what was best for him. They dimmed the lights, brought him a little musical baby toy and gave him a pacifier. It was amazing. The room was small and crowded, but everything took place as if it was a well-choreographed dance. Baby Steven was just hypnotized by the quiet tones, gentle and skilled touch, and precision cast making. Dr. Riccio truly is a baby whisperer and no price can be put on the time or value of the many e-mails Nurse Cadie spent with me.  
Baby Steven is now 19 months old. He has been treated with casting, wore a boots and bar brace for a period of time, and now only wears a brace when he sleeps. He runs around like any other toddler his age. If you ask him to show you his clubfoot, he will grab the correct foot. He also helps me put on his brace and even brings it to me when he is tired and ready to sleep.
From day one, I wondered what a clubfoot diagnosis meant for his future. Would he ever be able to walk normally? Be able to run? Would he look different? Does it hurt? Would he feel disabled? How ‘different’ would the world perceive him?

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children not only treated his clubfoot but made us feel at home and safe.

When we are at the hospital, we know we are not alone. I am thankful we were directed to Scottish Rite and appreciative of the atmosphere the employees cultivate. Being in and out of the hospital can be stressful – there are bills to pay, worried parents, uncomfortable babies and kids, but everyone at Scottish Rite knows the value of kindness.



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