Author: Jessica Cerretani

No holding her back: Robotic procedure gives girl freedom from urinary incontinence

little girl on the beach after robotic artificial urinary sphincter implantation
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MADI’S FAMILY

Seven-year-old Madi loves being active, whether that means dancing, doing gymnastics or riding her bike. Born with spina bifida, she doesn’t let the diagnosis slow her down — but the chronic urinary incontinence it can cause was disruptive and stressful. Known as neurogenic bladder, this condition occurs when the nerves to the bladder and urethral sphincter do not work properly and can lead to urinary retention or persistent urinary leakage.

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Enjoying every day: Renee’s story

renee visits with her grandfather
Renee visits with her grandfather. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SEAVER FAMILY.)

Hitting double digits is a milestone for any kid, but it’s particularly special for Renee Seaver and her family. Once told that their daughter likely wouldn’t survive until age one, her parents recently celebrated Renee’s tenth birthday with her. “Renee is the heart and soul of our family,” says her mother, Michelle. “We enjoy every day we have together.”

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‘Finally in the right place’: Peyton’s journey to Boston

peyton poses on the anniversary of treatment for an anorectal malformation
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MIKLAS FAMILY

When Peyton Miklas comes to Boston Children’s Hospital for an appointment, she isn’t just seeing Dr. Belinda Dickie, co-director of the Colorectal and Pelvic Malformation Center, or one of the other clinicians who care for her. The 18-month-old is also excited to visit with her buddy Bryson. The toddlers — who were born within a day of each other — and their moms have bonded over their shared diagnosis of a congenital difference.

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Bryson’s story: Getting support for an anorectal malformation

Bryson smiles after care for imperforate anus
PHOTOS: MICHAEL GODERRE/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

The wait while a child has surgery can be excruciating for any parent, and Carrie and Brian Mueller are no exception. Even though it wasn’t the first procedure their son, Bryson, had undergone, they were still nervous when the time came for them to hand him over his clinical team. But before a nurse could begin wheeling the 4-month-old into the operating room, his surgeon, Dr. Belinda Dickie, stopped her. “I’d like to carry him in,” she told the Muellers.

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