Cincinnati Children's Blog

Sometimes, a Picture is Worth so Much More than a Thousand Words

Sometimes, a Picture is Worth so Much More than a Thousand Words

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, to us, that picture is worth a million words and one huge thank you. William “Bryce” Staverman was born with most of his cerebellum missing, has cerebral palsy, and a multitude of other medical issues. He lives in Northern Kentucky with his parents and his three wonderful sisters. He does not speak, cannot walk, but understands everything. And we mean everything!

On “Black Friday” 2011, our son was in for a routine upper GI procedure. Our family and his primary care physician had recently noticed some curvature to his back, so after the procedure, Bryce was able to have x-rays taken of his spine. When his primary care physician called first thing Monday morning, we knew it wasn’t good. He told us we needed to get in with an orthopaedic surgeon. We called and made the first appointment we could, which was in early December. We met with Dr. Jain and his staff. Wow. They were amazing and concise with the treatment options available. Given the severity of his scoliosis (65 degree curvature of his spine), we were told we could wait a year to see how it progresses or go ahead with the spinal fusion. We opted to go ahead. The first available operating date was February 23.

Maureen Grady is the “spine nurse.” She was incredibly informative in every step of the procedure and she had great care and compassion — not only for Bryce, but for our entire family. Because Bryce is a “special needs child,” she made sure the Adaptive Care Team was available to meet his needs — mostly anxiety-related, as well as physical. For our first of ten appointments in February prior to the procedure, someone from the Adaptive Care Team was waiting for us when we arrived — complete with an iPad of entertainment for Bryce. She showed us to every single appointment and answered any question we had. We were beyond impressed.

When February 23rd arrived, I knew we were as prepared as we could be for the 10+ hour surgery. We were updated regularly, prayed a lot, and when we saw Bryce for the first time in ICU, we almost cried. Although he was very well sedated, he was able to ask for his iPad and even managed to play with the bed controls endlessly. By the next morning, Bryce was sitting up in bed. Straight. Very straight. Dr. Jain was able to correct the curvature 100%. Five days later, he was home. And any time I called with a concern, Maureen was able to ease our fears and provide whatever assistance we needed.

The before and after photo tells the whole story.

The look on his face in the post-op photo is our favorite, ever. No one asks for a child with special needs, yet maybe they should. Because what you receive is a blessing — a child without a care in the world, one that gives unconditional love.

If you have never been to Cincinnati Children’s, you are one of the lucky ones. But those of us who have, we’re one of the lucky ones as well. It is an amazing place with the best nurses, the best doctors, and the best staff. And for us, it’s right in our backyard.

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