My daughter Victoria is a spunky kid who loves to splash in the pool, play with her dogs and sip chai tea. She also loves anything that goes with mini marshmallows. Victoria was born three months . Doctors diagnosed her as a toddler with mild cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that causes problems with motor function. They referred us to Children’s National Hospital. I was scared. I worried she’d need a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
I had 101 questions. Her care team, led by Olga Morozova, M.D., provided endless reassurance. Dr. Morozova listened to my concerns and created a plan so Victoria could live a normal life. She made me feel calm.
Victoria’ s physical therapists inspired optimism and explained everything. They always made it fun. They created obstacle courses and set up “fishing” expeditions that involved bending, squatting and moving. They had Victoria ride a special bike through the hospital hallways to stretch her legs. They told me exactly what exercises she should do at home.
Laura Tosi, M.D., director of the Bone Health Program, performed four orthopaedic surgeries to help correct Victoria’s legs. This included heel cord surgery to extend the reach of her feet. She’s still in active treatment to straighten her legs and improve how she walks. Future surgery could improve her walking even more.
The people who work at Children’s National are like pieces of a puzzle. Together, they a beautiful picture. They gave my family hope. They all have the same goal: to help kids stay healthy so they can get back to their lives. Victoria, now in elementary school, has improved so much. She doesn’t need a wheelchair. She has the freedom to run and play. That makes us all happy.
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