Radhika Poppy Ennis is an energetic 4-year-old who loves to laugh, play and dance. But until recently, she was unable to stand or walk on her own.
When Leslie and Jeremy Ennis adopted Radhika from India last year, she had extensive burns on her lower body. She could not straighten or use her left knee and moved around with her arms, dragging her left leg. The family was referred to Dr. Vincent Mosca, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of foot and limb deformities within the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine department at Seattle Children’s. The only option was to amputate Radhika’s lower leg, so that she could get a prosthesis.
In the past year, Radhika has not only learned a new language and way of life. She also underwent surgery and received a shiny blue prosthetic leg.
“Radhika is really determined and resilient,” said Leslie. “She has been through a lot, but from the very beginning she’s been really happy and up for adventure. We were excited for her to be able to run, dance, play with other kids and just to be off the floor and be seen. She loves people and wants to be in the mix so badly.” Read full post »
As a naturally-talented quarterback and cornerback for the Northwest Junior Football League’s North Creek Jaguars, Andrew Ronneberg, 14, participated in the study led by researchers from Seattle Children’s Research Institute exploring concussion in football players ages 5-14.
New research from Seattle Children’s Research Institute and UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute found concussion rates among football players ages 5-14 were higher than previously reported, with five out of every 100 youth, or 5%, sustaining a football-related concussion each season.
Published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the study summarizes the research team’s key findings from data collected during two, 10-week fall seasons in partnership with the Northwest Junior Football League (NJFL). Licensed athletic trainers from Seattle Children’s treated and recorded concussion from the sidelines at NJFL games to allow researchers to characterize concussions in this age group – from how often players sustained a head injury to factors that influenced their risk of injury.
“Measuring the incidence of concussion in grade-school and middle-school football players is essential to improving the safety of the game,” said Dr. Sara Chrisman, an investigator in the research institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development and lead author on the study. “It’s hard to determine the impact of prevention efforts if we don’t know how often these injuries occur at baseline.” Read full post »
For 13-year-old Zack Edge, playing the drums came naturally ever since he laid his eyes on his very first drum set at 3 years old.
Yet other parts of Zack’s life didn’t come so naturally, such as his ability to stand or walk.
“Zack was born with cerebral palsy,” said his mother Sara Edge, “and over the course of his short lifetime he’s gone through a lot and has had to overcome so much.”
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition that affects muscle movement. The muscles of some children with CP are stiff and rigid, which is called spasticity that leads to stiffness in the muscle and joints causing movement to be very difficult.
“It wasn’t until we went to Seattle Children’s that Zack’s life completely changed,” said Edge.
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Miguel Navarro, 18, was blindsided by a cancer diagnosis. Today, he’s on the road to recovery.
A single blow to 18-year-old Miguel Navarro’s shoulder turned his world upside down. He was boxing with his friends one afternoon when he felt a snap. He took a hit to his shoulder and immediately knew something was wrong.
“That punch altered my world,” said Miguel.
Miguel went to the emergency room where he found out he fractured his humerus, the long bone in the upper arm. Unfortunately, that wasn’t where his medical journey ended. While undergoing imaging, doctors noticed something amiss, and so Miguel underwent a myriad of tests. At the time, doctors thought what they saw in his imaging results could be a benign tumor.
On Dec. 12, 2017, Miguel was told the tumor wasn’t benign. He had osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer. Read full post »
Bretton Chitwood, 18, is an avid hockey player. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2016, but has since returned to the ice. He now plays with a custom prosthesis.
On May 18, 2016, Kara Chitwood and her son Bretton Chitwood traveled from their home in Lynden, Washington, to Seattle Children’s for what they thought would be a routine outpatient appointment to get magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on Bretton’s ankle. Instead, they didn’t end up leaving the hospital. That day would become one they would never forget.
The pain Bretton was experiencing in his ankle was more insidious than they could have ever imagined. Doctors found a mass and said they needed to do a biopsy to determine what it was. One possibility was the unthinkable: cancer. Read full post »
When other kids ask Reid Watkins, 8, about the leg braces he wears, he likes to tell them they help him ‘walk awesome.’
The outgoing third grader was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus at 16 months old. Until undergoing two surgeries over the course of two years at Seattle Children’s, both conditions had limited his ability to walk on his own.
That made taking part in this year’s Hydrocephalus Association Seattle WALK to End Hydrocephalus all the more important to Reid. For the last seven years, the Watkins family has participated in the walk at Magnuson Park as a way to raise awareness about the condition. Read full post »
Ramon Little, 9, has been rock climbing since he was 5 years old. Seattle Children’s and Outdoors for All partner to give children with limb differences the opportunity to rock climb. Photo by: Scott Filipiak
This weekend, a group of Seattle Children’s patients and families got together outside the walls of the hospital for a unique social – to climb a 30-foot rock climbing wall. For 8 years, Seattle Children’s and Outdoors for All have partnered together to allow children with limb differences the opportunity to rock climb.
Dr. Suzanne Steinman, a physician in the Hand and Upper Extremity Program who helps organize the event, says the social is a way to provide families the opportunity to get together and for kids to see they’re not alone.
“Every child who attends the event has something in common: they all have unique limbs,” said Steinman. “From congenital abnormalities of the hand or foot, to losses from amputation or trauma, kids get to see other kids with arms and legs just like theirs.”
Kenna Chapman, custom events and program manager at Outdoors for All, added, “Events like this make me feel like our work really does enrich the lives of people through recreation.” Read full post »
Chloe Howard, 18, was born with a severe and atypical form of a common foot deformity called clubfoot. About one in every 1,000 babies is born with clubfoot. She underwent two extensive operations on her foot in California before her first birthday. After she and her family moved to Seattle, she underwent a final corrective surgery at Seattle Children’s. Throughout her childhood, she wore corrective casts and braces and spent countless hours in the hospital.
After being bullied and assaulted by her classmates in high school because of her deformity, Howard bravely decided to stand up and share her story in hopes that her words would inspire others to embrace their imperfections and end bullying. Today, she’s the author of the book “Stand Beautiful,” and is on a mission to redefine beauty. Below is her story and powerful message to others. Read full post »
On Saturday morning, 10-year-old Agatha Holloway’s dream came true. Photo credit: Katie McCullough Simmons.
On Saturday morning, nearly 50 people gathered outside of 10-year-old Agatha Holloway’s home in the east central Seattle neighborhood of Madison Park to support the little girl with an incredible dream and fierce determination.
Her dream was to walk to her local ice cream shop, a journey that until recently seemed impossible. Read full post »
Jack Clark, 12, shows off his dance moves on skates.
Jack Clark, 12, was born to stand out. He excels in sports, lights up a room with his infectious smile, amazes bystanders with dance moves on skates, and walks with a gait unique to him – with a prosthesis covered in flames. Jack was born with a disability, but he’s never let it slow him down. From the wrestling mat, to the roller skating rink, he always finds a way to thrive in the face of adversity.
“Most people see my disability as a disadvantage, but personally I see it as an advantage,” said Jack.
Jack was born with rare conditions affecting both of his legs – proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD) in both thigh bones and fibular hemimelia in the left lower leg. Isolated PFFD occurs in about one in 50,000 children and fibular hemimilia occurs in about one in 40,000 children. Read full post »