Stories about: Dr. Travis Matheney

Nicole’s Story: Dancing my way through pain

Nicole Zizzi dancer hip dysplasia PAO Thriving blog lead image
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICKEY WEST PHOTOGRAPHY

Dance is my life passion.

I’ve spent more than 15 hours a week dancing for most of my 26 years — except for a period of time the past few years, when hip pain forced me to stop.

We dancers usually don’t express our pain; in fact, we almost like to be in pain because it means we’re working hard and improving. So, when I woke up one morning two years ago and I couldn’t lift my left leg, I knew something was very wrong. This pain was too intense to ignore.

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Makayla’s story: Living with Leri-Weill Dyschondrosteosis

Makayla hip dysplasia lead image

Our daughter Makayla was born perfectly healthy on April 5th, 2014, passing all of the usual newborn screenings without issue. From day one, her personality shone through. She was strong-willed and had a smile that would light up her eyes before her mouth even showed a hint of joy. But over the next 3 months, Makayla wasn’t eating well and wasn’t gaining enough weight.  Our pediatrician referred us to Dr. Elizabeth Hait, a gastroenterologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Hait would change Makayla’s formula multiple times and put her on medication for her acid reflux. Her pediatrician also tested her for a milk allergy, since her brother had one as an infant, but it was negative. It was recommended Makayla have an upper GI to make sure everything was anatomically correct.

The technician suggested everything looked good, so we left feeling that Makayla was perfectly normal. But a call from her doctor that afternoon turned our world upside down.

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Listening to Tanner: Finding help for a functional gastrointestinal disorder

functional gastrointestinal disorder

For most families, movie night is simply an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company while soaking up some mindless entertainment. But for Tanner Chung and his family, a trip to the theater was life changing. As they watched the tale of a young girl with a mysterious illness play out on the big screen, they were struck by the similarities to Tanner’s own story.

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Printing a plan to resolve an athlete’s pain

Louise before hip surgery
Photo credit: Risley Sports Photography LLC

Just days away from a complex hip surgery, Louise Atadja smiles and laughs. “I’m not really nervous at all. I feel like it’s the next thing on my to-do list, like we’re just checking off a box,” she says. “That’s the type of person I am — I make lists of what I have to do, so that’s how I’m thinking about it.”

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