Scarlett was born with congenital scoliosis, fused ribs and hemivertebrae, a rare condition where the spine doesn’t form correctly. Because of these conditions, Scarlett was no stranger to Primary Children’s Hospital – she has been visiting the hospital since she was 1 year old.
Earlier this year, at age 11, Scarlett underwent a thoracoplasty, a surgical procedure that involved removing some of her ribs, and a spinal fusion – resulting intwo rods, 15 screws and more than 500 stitches.
Scarlett’s surgery was a success, but the road to recovery was not easy. Before leaving the hospital, Scarlett had to practice sitting up for at least 30 minutes, standing, walking and going up and down stairs. Thankfully, the hospital and staff offered a few things that helped her recovery go more smoothly, like visiting with the service dogs and seeing the occupational therapist who gave Scarlett foot and neck rubs to help ease her pain.
Once she got home, her first several weeks were a challenge. Not only was she working hard to manage her pain every day, but she also struggled with everyday tasks like showering and getting in and out of bed. Thankfully, when Scarlett was able to go back to school, she had plenty of friends who helped her carry her backpack and stayed in to play games with her during gym class and recess.
After six months of healing, Scarlett is now able to run, jump, twist and bend, and has even gone back to her tumbling gym and dance studio. She is building muscle and getting stronger every day.
“Seeing Scarlett finally starting to feel like herself again is such a blessing,” said Scarlett’s mom, Carly. “We are forever grateful for her care team at Primary Children’s Hospital, including her surgeon Dr. John Smith and all the other doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses and physical therapists who helped make Scarlett’s surgery and recovery a success.”
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