Stories about: Diseases & Conditions

The mystery of Jane’s left shoulder: Acute flaccid myelitis

Jane rides her bike after recovering from acute flaccid myelitis.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MOREHEAD FAMILY

When 5-year-old Jane Morehead tumbled off her bike in May 2017, it didn’t seem like a big deal. Jane’s dad was with her at the time, and both of them considered the fall a minor one. The whole family was surprised, therefore, when Jane had pain in her left shoulder the next day. At an emergency room (ER) near the family’s home in North Carolina, x-rays of Jane’s shoulder appeared normal. The doctor diagnosed a possible sprain and sent Jane home in a sling. As far as Jane and her parents were concerned, that was the end of it.

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Four things I learned at the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Family Symposium

View of the crowd at the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Family Symposium
[PHOTO DESIGN: SEBASTIAN STANKIEWICZ/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL]

I’m sure most parents treat clinic visits as I do… an opportunity to get every last drop of information out of your child’s doctors while you have their undivided attention. So, when the opportunity presents, you take advantage of a full day of learning about your kiddo.

I had that chance recently — along with many other Heart Center parents — at the day-long Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Family Symposium. And while the learning was important, there was so much more that came out of the day.

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Two moms, two daughters and a bond over a shared diagnosis

Julia Grace and Lily Alice, who both have Down syndrome pose in a field of tulips
Julia Grace, left, and Lily Alice [PHOTO: HARVEST HILL PHOTOGRAPHY]

When Kristen and Ella met on an online support group for moms of babies born with Down syndrome, they made an instant connection. The two have been friends ever since. “The first time I met Ella, it felt like I knew her my whole life,” says Kristen, mom to 2-year-old Lily Alice. “It was a bond that felt like family.”

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Improving orthopedic care in Colombia, one step at a time

A team of orthopedic nurses pose in a hospital in Colombia.
Danielle (far left), Michelle (in Boston Children’s shirt) and I pose with the local nurses

Colombia is a beautiful country. On my first impression from the airplane, I was struck by how lush and green everything looks. People are warm and friendly, and quickly make you feel at home. For the past three years, I have had the opportunity to work at University Hospital in Neiva, Colombia with Healing the Children and the Boston Children’s Hospital Orthopedics Department as part of a surgical outreach program. My nursing work is also sponsored by Boston Children’s Global Nursing Fellowship.

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