Jacob skis with the assistance of adaptive ski poles, called outriggers.
On January 6, 2015, 13-year-old Jacob Wald woke up and headed to school. The day started out just like any other day.
This day, however, would turn out to be very different; this day would change his life forever.
“I was playing basketball that morning,” said Wald. “Everything happened so fast. Eight hours later I couldn’t walk.”
That morning during school Wald began to suffer from back pain. It progressively got worse so he left school early. Soon after, he couldn’t stand anymore.
“My legs turned to JELL-O,” said Wald.
He was taken immediately to an emergency room in Tacoma. He stayed inpatient there for two weeks until he was transported by ambulance to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Read full post »
Madison Fairchild, 7, post-surgery.
In February, Madison Fairchild, 7, waited patiently with her family in a pre-op exam room at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
As they waited for Madison to be taken into surgery she asked one question: “Are they going to take all the bad things out?”
The simple answer was yes, thanks to a new procedure pioneered at Seattle Children’s that uses a common household item to remove tumor-like growths called venous malformations: super glue.
That’s right, super glue.
Seattle Children’s is currently one of only two centers in the country to offer the new, revolutionary procedure. Read full post »
Darth Vader introduces himself to patient Noah Mulllin.
Patients and families at Seattle Children’s didn’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to follow in the footsteps of Luke Skywalker, famed Jedi Master from Star Wars. Jedi masters made a special trip to the hospital today to help patients and their families harness their inner Force through a private training session.
And that’s not all. Several Star Wars characters from the Light and the Dark side also made a surprise appearance at the hospital. Patients, families and staff were buzzing over the sight of Darth Vader and R2-D2 walking the halls of the hospital.
The Force was definitely awakened as children smiled ear-to-ear as they too became Jedi Masters, each one empowered to overcome whatever lies ahead of them.
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Dr. Yandow poses with Lauren by her bedside at Seattle Children’s.
For a child, having to wear a bulky, fiberglass cast around an arm or leg might not sound like a fun treatment option, especially when they need to wear it for up to six weeks.
So doctors at Seattle Children’s are doing what they can to make the experience a little more fun.
“What color casts would you like?” Dr. Suzanne Yandow, chief of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s, asked Lauren Huber, 4.
Lauren looked up at Yandow with her big blue eyes, holding tightly to her baby doll, Kiddo, and exclaimed, “Pink!” without hesitation. “But I’d also like a little purple for my twin sister,” Lauren added as she looked at her mom. “Her favorite color is purple, so I want purple. But just a little. I want it to be mostly pink,” she said. Read full post »
Makenna with the 33 wagons she collected last year.
Makenna Schwab is at it again. She’s a 12-year-old on a philanthropic mission to raise more than $10,000 for Seattle Children’s, a place she says saved her life.
Makenna, who donated 33 red Radio Flyer wagons to the hospital last December, has two new goals this year: raise money for a low radiation X-ray machine for kids at the hospital, and fund a years worth of “MakPaks” for inpatient families. MakPaks provide a bag of groceries to parents and caregivers who don’t want to leave their child’s bedside or can’t afford food during extended hospital stays. Read full post »
Alexander (Alex) Conrad, 8, is one of a kind. He lives with an extremely rare chromosomal deletion, which has unfortunately caused a variety of complex medical issues, including a severe form of scoliosis.
By the time Alex was 2 years old, he’d endured numerous surgeries to fix a variety of physical abnormalities. His 70 degree spinal curvature was the last hurdle the family hoped to face.
“We’d spent so much time in the hospital already,” said Jared Conrad, Alex’s father. “We were really hoping that the scoliosis wouldn’t require more surgery.”
Dr. Klane White, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Seattle Children’s, couldn’t make that promise, but he did have good news for the Conrad family. White is one of a few surgeons in the region using the new technology known as the MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) system. Read full post »
Many kids can relate to the unpleasant experience of growing pains – they come on at night and can cause sharp, shooting, as well as dull and nagging pain. But what people may not know is what causes them, why do they affect some children and not others, and most importantly, when should parents be concerned that they could be something much more serious?
Dr. Suzanne Marie Yandow, chief of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, answers these common questions below.
What causes growing pains?
The direct cause of growing pains is unknown, but they typically present in children 3 to 5 years of age and may persist much later in some cases in kids ages 8 to 12. Some studies have shown that more than one out of three children displays symptoms at some point in their lives, and the symptoms most often arise during periods of rapid growth.
What are the common symptoms?
Growing pains often come on in the evening and at night, and the pain is usually in the muscles rather than the joints. This pain usually presents bilaterally, meaning the pain will occur in both legs, rather than just one or the other. Frequently they are present in the front of the legs or shin area.
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The Women’s World Cup is underway in Canada and soccer fans have been tuning in to watch some of the most elite female soccer players in the world compete for the title of world champion. But while most of the attention is on the competition itself, it’s also an opportune time to talk about one of the risks of the sport, concussions, according to Dr. Samuel Browd, a pediatric neurosurgeon and medical director of Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program.
“Soccer is commonly called out as an example of a sport that has a high incidence of female concussion,” Browd said. “And this is for a couple different reasons. One is pure numbers. Many women play soccer causing the sport to have a higher concussion rate. Women commonly get a concussion from heading the ball or from falling and hitting their head on the ground. But another reason is simply due to the way the sport is played: aggressively.” Read full post »
Spring has sprung and spring sports are underway. Children and teens are back on the baseball mound, track and soccer field, and while playing sports is a great source of exercise for kids, they can also cause injury and pain if children try to spring back too fast. To help keep kids healthy and active this season, Dr. Thomas Jinguji, a sports medicine doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital, offers tips for parents and coaches to make sure pain isn’t a part of a child’s season.
With more children and teens participating in recreational sports and organized activities, it’s not surprising that overuse injuries, or damage to a bone, muscle, ligament or tendon caused by stress from repetitive actions, are common. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), half of all sports medicine injuries in children and teens are from overuse. And with longer seasons, more intensity during practices and games and more pressure to succeed, it’s no wonder Seattle Children’s is seeing an increase in these types of injuries. Read full post »
When people think of osteoporosis, most likely, they wouldn’t think about kids and teens. However, Dr. Michael Goldberg, director of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Skeletal Health Program, says osteoporosis is actually a pediatric disorder and childhood is the best time to think about bone health. By thinking about bone health at an early age, individuals can ensure they have strong bones later in life.
“Bones are very much alive,” said Goldberg. “From birth until age 35 you make more bone than you dissolve. From age 35 on, you dissolve more bone than you make. Think of it like needing a bone bank account. You need to make a lot of bone deposits early on; otherwise there won’t be much left when you’re old.”
And the best way to strengthen and build bone is with calcium and vitamin D. Read full post »