I don’t remember it of course, but the photo on the left was taken after my first surgery for hip dysplasia. I was diagnosed at 11 months and by 13 months underwent my first surgery. You see, I was born without a socket joint, causing my hip ball to become deformed. This surgery was life changing. Because of the staff at Cincinnati Children’s, I was able to lead a “normal” childhood: running around and playing with my friends. With frequent hospital visits and regular check-ups, the doctors at Cincinnati Children’s noticed my right hip was not developing as planned, while my left hip grew with my body.
When I was 13 years old, I underwent another surgery that prevented me from attending school and participating in contact activities for over two months. Luckily, a teacher volunteered to tutor me at my house, so that I would not fall behind in school. Not letting my disease hold me back, I returned to school two months later and completed eighth grade with all As and one B. Five months later I was able to cheer with the Ripley Junior High cheerleading team.
Despite undergoing multiple challenging surgeries, I was able to maintain a relatively active life as teenager. Over the next four years I continued to cheer with Ripley varsity cheerleading squad and worked as a part-time waitress at a local restaurant. In 2013 I graduated high school and now am in my first year at Wright State University.
I want to share my experience with others because the staff at Cincinnati Children’s changed my life. I want people to know how the staff all work together to make the experiences better for patients like me.
Whenever I go to Cincinnati Children’s, the staff is welcoming and willing to help me however they can. The hospital is filled with doctors, nurses, receptionists, and other important staff members who show they care about their patients. The surgeries I underwent as a child provided their own set of challenges but the staff made the process easier to handle. My doctor even called me at home to make sure I was okay.
Having spent a lot of time at Cincinnati Children’s over the years, I am very grateful for each and every one of the staff members that have taken part in my care. Their kindness and thoughtfulness have inspired me. Over the last couple of years of high school, I did a lot of thinking about what I want to do when I get older. I really like the field of communications, but ultimately, I want to work at Cincinnati Children’s. I am learning that there is so much more to a career than the job itself. I’d like to be able to help children along the way. Perhaps one day I could find a communications job at Cincinnati Children’s (hint, hint!). That’s my ultimate dream.