View Full Version : First Casting Experience at SLC Shriners!

04-19-2006, 02:03 AM
Hello Everyone!! :)

Happy belated Easter - hope is was an enjoyable day with heaps of treats!!

Well, we had a very Happy Easter since Liam is doing extremely well in his
new accessory - his risser cast. We left for SLC, Utah on April 8th and
Liam was checked into Shriners Hospital on April 9th. On April 10th Liam
went into "surgery" at 8:30 a.m. to be casted. The hardest thing I've ever
had to do was to hand him over to the surgical staff and watch them take my precious angel away and into the operating room...... I knew this was the
best thing for him but it was soooo hard!!

Casting took about 2 hours and my husband and I were able to see Liam in the recovery as soon as he awoke. The Dr.'s said that everything went well,
however, I wasn't going to believe it until I saw it!! When we first saw
Liam he was a little upset, mostly because he was hungry having not eaten
since the night before. I thought I was going to see this huge, bulky,
unsightly cast thing, however, I was pleasantly surprised. It was not as
bad as I, nor anyone else, had thought or expected. Liam had gained a few
pounds from the plaster/fiber glass cast (3 lbs.) when I picked him up but
them he settled down as soon as he saw Sean and I and I fed him. :) The
anesthesiologist said that the first thing he said when he woke up was
"Momma!" :)

The first 2 days of being in the cast were the hardest for Liam - vomiting
from the anesthesia, then GERD (acid reflux) upset by the pressure of the
cast so extra vomiting from that, not eating, trouble breathing (low oxygen
levels - on oxygen for 24 hours), pale (borderline anemic) and not sleeping
due to being initially uncomfortable in the new cast and not being able to
maneuver like before (Liam is a tummy sleeper and hasn't been able to turn
from back to front in his cast... yet!!) Then by the third day he was up
and moving around and eating a little bit more and smiling and talking and
being his wonderfuil, charming, flirty self!! :) Liam won the hearts of
everyone at the hospital as did they with us. Everyone there was
WONDERFUL!! I can't even begin to say enough about Shriners and the
hospital staff - from the Dr.'s and nurses to cafeteria staff and volunteers
- they truly made each and every day as wonderful as they could for the kids
and their families.

We were also pleasantly surprised to find that another family, from
Brisbane, Australia, were also there at the hospital the same time we were!!
:) Bert (mom), Bridget (soliosis patient) and Cormac (brother) were there
getting a new brace. Sean, Liam and I also met with another wonderful,
supportive family (Carmell and Braydon) while in SLC. Carmell was the first
mom to contact me and inform me about Shriners!! Had it not been for her,
and her wealth of knowledge and information about scoliosis, I don't know
where we would be!! THANK YOU CARMELL!! :) And Braydon - you are AWESOME and I'm so proud of you!! :) Hopefully we'll get to meet some more wonderful families during the visits to SLC ahead!

Overall, our first casting experience was very positive. Liam is adjusting
very well to his cast and has never once pulled at it or acted as though he
was really bothered by it (except when he wants to roll over). The best part about it though is that Liam's curve, 105 degrees, is now down to 50 degrees in the cast!!!!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!! We were sooooooo excited and encouraged by that!!!!!!!

The plan is to go back within the next 3-4 months for Liam to be re-casted
(due to growth) and we will continue with this for at least the next year or
so. Then it's on to surgery (VEPTR)/bracing - depending on how Liam's curve reacts to treatment. We are very encouraged, relieved to finally have a plan and progress in place and blessed to have such a magical place to go to for Liam to be treated!!

Thanks to everyone for your continued help, e-mails and support - it's all greatly appreciated!! :)

Jennifer, Sean and Liam

04-19-2006, 07:17 AM
Hello Everyone!! :)

.... I can't even begin to say enough about Shriners and the
hospital staff - from the Dr.'s and nurses to cafeteria staff and volunteers
- they truly made each and every day as wonderful as they could for the kids
and their families.

I really think the hospital experience is so important ! :) It's really the little things that make all the difference in the world. At Sick Kids in Toronto, there is everything from Starbucks, Burger King, Tim Hortons. They even have a play centre run by the women's auxiliary where you can drop your kid off - these women are so sweet, they could be characters right out of Norman Rockwell :D The toys at the play centre are INCREDIBLE - we're talking state of the art toys !! They also have a library and a computer area where parents can surf the internet and keep in touch with internet buddies. Deirdre actually looks forward to going to the hospital....

04-19-2006, 08:27 AM

i'm glad your experience at shriners in slc turned out so well. as celia said, the little things make a world of difference when you are already stressed out being at the hospital.

that's great that you met bert and carmell. it's nice to have other people around to talk to!


05-26-2006, 12:55 PM
I am glad you had such a wonderful experience at SLC! My son gets casted at the Shriners in Erie, PA and I agree that the staff is just wonderful.

Wow! It sounds like you got some really AMAZING results. I am so happy for your little Liam. I hope he continues to have such wonderful improvements with each cast.