My family was first introduced to Shriner’s Hospital in August of 1984. That’s when I was born and diagnosed with Bilateral Club Foot, and referred to Shriner’s Hospital in San Francisco CA. The staff of San Francisco Shriner’s took me on as a patient when i was less then a week old. The staff there was amazing and did the best that they could do to provide my family the best education possible about my disability/birth defect. During the time I was being treated I had one surgery to lengthen both of my Achilles tendons where they run through my ankles. This surgery would allow my feet to actually lay flat so i could walk later in life.
Even though I was under the care of Shriner’s staff over 25 years ago I can still remember quite a few memories from my stay and visits there. I can remember some small memories like playing in the handmade wooden playhouse in the waiting room while waiting to be seen, or waiting in line with the other kids to bet a balloon animal or balloon hat from Gordo the clown, or sitting and being able to watch staff actually make my braces that I got to bring home and wear. But the best memory of all was being able to make the friends that i did while at the hospital. That was the greatest part of Shriner’s (and still is). The patients and staff and families were all so nice and amazing. There was never any kind of people looking at you funny or any kind of discrimination. And even the patients were allowed to visit each other. I remember one of patient there while I was in the hospital that came to visit me in my hospital room the day of my surgery. My grandmother and his mother let us visit for hours. We would play board games or he would read me stories. At that time I was about 4 or so age wise and he was in his teens. That other patient along with the rest of my Shriner’s family definitely made my experience the best it could be.
And now I am able to say that i get to continue my journey through Shriner’s. My daughter, Trinity Lynn, was also born with Bilateral Club Foot. I instantly knew she what was going on when i saw her and her legs/ankles/feet after she was born. She was referred to Shriner’s immediately and brought on as a patient when she was three weeks old. She started her journey with Shriner’s in Sacramento CA. Our initial visit with Shriner’s was so incredibly stressful as Trinity’s mom, but the staff at Shriner’s made us feel completely at ease and at home. It was the greatest thing ever. We then made weekly trips for her casts to be redone for 5 weeks after our initial visit. Because the casting staff and doctors were so amazing at their jobs, Trinity didn’t need any kind of corrective surgery. She was able to go straight from wearing her casts into her braces. She was in braces for different amounts of time until about 6 months ago. According to the doctors in Sacramento, Trinity was done with the Ponsetti Braces approximately one full year before most children are. I can thank the staff at the Sacramento Shriner’s for that. And now that we live in Minnesota, we get the privilege of being a part of the Twin Cities Shriner’s Hospital family for all her follow-up appointments and care from here on out. The staff at this hospital made our transition to a new hospital easier then we could have ever imagined. And Trin is already starting to make new friends at her appointments here too.
The staff and family me and my daughter have at Shriner’s have been the greatest anyone could ask for. And without their help and support neither one of us would be capable of walking today. The Shriner’s have been a huge blessing to my family, and i wouldn’t have it any other way. So to Shriner’s for their services. Thank you.