â€” Letter from the Ross Family
A year and a half ago, when our daughter, Madison Ross, was 16 months old, we became concerned about her walking as she had an obvious limp. Doctors discovered that she was born with hip dysplasia. We saw a posting for a Shriners Clinic and thought weâ€™d go and learn more about what they did. It couldnâ€™t have been better timing. We took the next few months one day at a time, learning about hip dysplasia, adjusting to our new lifestyle and the equipment to care for our daughter. Madisonâ€™s first treatment was being placed in traction for 3 weeks, living 24/7 in a radio flyer wagon. We never thought weâ€™d adjust as our first night in the Shriners Hospital consisted of a 20-month-old child who couldnâ€™t sleep because her legs were extended in the air, unable to rest comfortably on her stomach.
The doctors and nurses were right, children do adjust quickly. Not long after that we were facing (and dreading) the surgery. We worried, as any parents would, but we received excellent support from the hospital staff, were prepped for any possibilities that we might face and kept at ease throughout. One of the greatest benefits of the Shriners Hospital is that we never felt like we were being sent home unprepared. They made sure that we were ready to leave, understood how to care for our daughter in her â€śnew digs,â€ť and knew that they were just a phone call away for support if we had any questions afterwards. Itâ€™s not like most hospitals that push you out of the door the day after surgery with little follow-up. Madison was in a body cast for 3 months total. It took much trial and error and considerable changes in our daily living. It was such a blessing to see our daughterâ€™s legs move when she came out of the surgery to remove her cast. She was pretty psyched to see them move too! We left the hospital this time with a new set of equipment, a brace which left her legs in a frog position 24/7.
Once again, Madison surprised us with her adaptability and quickly built up her strength to crawl, roll over, stand up, and eventually even walk, in her brace. She stayed in her brace 24/7 for a month and then we were granted 2 hours out each day to build up the strength in her legs. It took her 4 hours to figure out how to walk on her own again! Madisonâ€™s determination and quick progress had us nervous about how her hip was responding to such immediate change. The doctors at the Shriners hospital were happy to calm our nerves and move up our appointments to double check how her hip was healing. Their focus is always on the family.
A year and a half later, our life has mostly returned to normal with Madison free from her brace now any time sheâ€™s awake. Sheâ€™sexploring, running, and climbing; you wouldnâ€™t know she has any issues with her hip! Our journey with Shriners Hospital will continue for many years to come as Madison will most likely continue to sleep in her brace until sheâ€™s 4 or 5 years old. We return to the hospital every few months to ensure that all is progressing properly with the development of her hip joint.
We are forever grateful to have been treated at the Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenÂ® â€” Springfield. The Shriners Hospital not only treated our daughter, they also tended to our entire family. They answered our questions, talked with us when we sat in disbelief and frustration, listened to our concerns, provided guidance to care for our daughter, and made it possible to keep a smile on Madisonâ€™s face throughout the entire journey. The Shriners Hospital provides complete support to a child and the family, allowing the family to escape the stressful situations that are going on around them, and to enjoy their child to the fullest, even in the roughest situations. What could have been a year full of frustration, negativity, stress, debt, and depression, ended up resulting in an amazing year of discovery, cheer, love, support, and many celebrations as we watched our daughter learn to walk and explore her world all over again. She continues to sleep in a brace and may need surgery again in the future, but we know that Shriners will be with us through out Maddieâ€™s journey, wherever it may lead. God made our daughter walk again, Shriners Hospital is how He did it. Thank You Shriners Hospital!!