Greenville Makes List of Best Places to Live

by Shriners on September 16, 2014

Greenville makes list of best places to live … and the Greenville Shriners Hospital is listed as one of the reasons why!  The website Livability.com has ranked Greenville 33rd on a list of America’s Top 100 Best Places to Live.  To read more, visit: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2014/09/15/greenville-makes-list-best-places-live/15666103/

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Nothing Slows Katie Down!

by Shriners on September 10, 2014

Katie swimmingWhen 10-year-old Katie Lyons isn’t in school, she’s most likely swimming laps at the pool trying to improve her stroke and speed. A discovery made one day at the pool in the fall of 2013 changed Katie’s life forever. During routine stretching exercises in practice, Katie’s swim coach noticed her back had a curvature that resembled an S-shape. Katie’s family immediately visited their pediatrician and was stunned to hear the diagnosis of scoliosis. Katie’s mother, Mary Beth, promptly began researching treatment options and quickly felt the weight of the diagnosis of her child. She reached out for advice and encouragement from another mother of a teenager on Katie’s swim team who had also been diagnosed with scoliosis. As a result of their conversation, Mary Beth resolved to bring Katie to Shriners Hospitals for Children–Greenville located four hours from their home. Mary Beth said, “We wanted Katie in the care of doctors who not only treat children, but also treat scoliosis all day, every day.”

Katie came for her first appointment at the Greenville Shriners Hospital a week after the discovery of scoliosis. Katie has an s-curve with a 20 degree curve at the top and a 26 SONY DSCdegree curve on the bottom. The first appointment can be an emotional time for the family dealing with a new diagnosis. Katie and her family experienced a rollercoaster of emotions that stemmed from anxiety at wearing an orthotic or brace to correct scoliosis and prevent the curvature from worsening while adjusting to everyday activities. Mary Beth vividly remembers, “She had a hard time walking with it and as we walked through the lobby together to get an x-ray, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, ‘I can’t do this mom.’” With the help and encouragement of Prosthetics and Orthotics staff, Katie’s outlook quickly changed. “I think the encouraging attitude of everyone there has set the tone for Katie’s attitude.” Katie’s first appointment also included popcorn and snacks, a favorite movie, a game of air hockey, and a visit from Santa Clause. “I think the overall atmosphere of the hospital made a huge difference right from the get-go. The Greenville Shriners Hospital is not intimidating. It doesn’t feel like a hospital and for children, who don’t know what’s going on to begin with to enter a place and find it warm and welcoming, not to mention fun, is awesome,” said Mary Beth. At the end of the day Katie said, “This was my best day all year.” katiefitMary Beth said now “She is rocking her brace! There is very little she cannot and does not do with it on. Often, I will pull up at her school or a friend’s to see her playing soccer or football or running and you can’t even tell she has a brace on.” Katie will continue to be monitored by physicians to make sure the brace continues to hold and the use of the EOS machine which produces a 3-D full body image and puts out 90% less radiation than a typical x-ray. “The doctors and staff at Shriners are there because they love children and are passionate about finding ways to help them. They all have a wonderful, kind way of dealing with both the patients and the families.”

Katie says, “I want to show other kids that a brace doesn’t have to stop them. They can still have fun while wearing their brace.”Katie Katie Katie

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Meet Olivia Stamps

by Shriners on August 29, 2014

Olivia Stamps

Olivia Stamps

When Olivia began to learn to walk, she walked on her tip-toes, without putting her heels on the ground. Olivia’s family doctor suggested she be taken to see a neurologist. He suspected cerebral palsy, and at age 2, Olivia was taken to Shriners Hospitals for Children, where the diagnosis was confirmed. Her specific diagnosis was spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which causes stiffness and tightness in both legs.

Olivia’s doctors at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, tried several treatment options, including casting, stretching and botox treatments. As time progressed, more movement and ability problems developed — she could not walk with her feet flat on the floor or stand still. Her condition prevented her from being able to enjoy age-appropriate activities.

She received a gait analysis in the facility’s motion analysis laboratory, which provided detailed data on her walking pattern and assisted her medical team in determining the best course of treatment. Olivia’s mother says, “The Motion Lab was pivotal in her treatment. The staff is amazing and Olivia just loved looking like a robot!”

After reviewing the data from Olivia’s analysis, her team recommended surgery to lengthen her heel cords and hamstrings. After surgery at age 7 and rehabilitative therapy, Olivia has a perfect walking gait and can run, dance, jump on a trampoline, ride a bicycle and keep up with her peers. The spunky ten year old says her favorite part about being able to walk with flat feet is the shoes she gets to wear, “Before surgery I could not wear normal shoes, but now, I’m a shoe shopaholic!”

Olivia, was chosen as a 2013 national ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children because of her unique story of strength and courage. She spent the year traveling across the country, speaking at events, and helping to raise awareness about Shriners Hospitals for Children.

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Auxiliary Awards 18 Scholarships!

by Shriners on August 25, 2014

The Greenville Shriners Hospital is proud to announce the Auxiliary of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville has awarded 18 educational scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year! The Auxiliary stocks and staffs the only gift shop, the Sunshine Shop, inside the hospital. All monies made from the sale of store items goes towards a scholarship fund for patients and former patients wishing to further their education. This year, the Auxiliary awarded 18 scholarships worth $1,500 each.

Since 1941, the Auxiliary of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville has been an integral part of the volunteer program. In fact, in order to become a member of the Auxiliary, you must be a full-time hospital volunteer. In 2013, Auxiliary members volunteered more than 10,000 hours of service at the hospital. They help staff in all areas of the hospital including the surgical waiting room, clinic, radiology, family library, front desk, hospital tour guides, and at all special events. Volunteering and fundraising are the top priorities of the Greenville Shriners Hospitals’ Auxiliary. The hospital’s Auxiliary concentrates their fundraising on two major projects: The Luella Schloeman Educational Fund and Socks for Sweet Soles.

The Auxiliary of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville is proud to announce the 18 recipients: Hannah Billingsly, Jacob Blount, Kathryn Borum, Logan Brandon, Leah Byers, Matthew Byers, Rachel Davis, Destiny Dunn, Claire Ecrement, Tray Garris, Ethan Gentry, Erin Hardee, Nathan Honeycutt, Daniel Looper, Nicholas Morey, Jessica Sanders, Shelby Stroud, and Jennifer Timberlake.  To date, nearly 1,000 children have received a scholarship ($1,500 each) to college from the Auxiliary.

“I want to thank you for the scholarships that I was given to help me graduate from college. When I was chosen to receive the scholarships, I promised that I would do everything I could to deserve them. I know that all of you work hard to provide these scholarships and I want you to know that your efforts were not wasted on me. I maintained a 4.0 GPA and in May 2014, I graduated from Tri-County Technical College with Highest Honors.” – From: David Morgan Rose II

“I want to thank you for the scholarship and your support. I got it last year and was thankful to get it again. I have had over 28 operations and the reason I can enjoy life today is because of Shriners. I am attending the University of Illinois and will be studying advertising. This school is the #1 school in the nation for people in wheelchairs. They focus on helping students like me get the fullest out of their college years.” – From: Katy Borum

“Thank you so much for granting me a scholarship to aid in continuing my education. I appreciate all of the hard work it took to raise the funds.”  – From: Jacob Blount

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Welcome Dr. Gross!

by Shriners on August 22, 2014

GrossThe longest continuously practicing and operating pediatric orthopaedic surgeon in the state of South Carolina has joined the medical staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville.  Recently retired following forty-nine years as a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Richard Gross, M.D., says, “I love working with children. The Greenville Shriners Hospital has such a friendly atmosphere and does amazing work.”

Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Gross earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University. He then completed his general surgery residency at Ireland Army Hospital, followed by an orthopaedic surgery residency at William Beaumont Army Hospital, and a pediatric orthopaedic residency at Carrie Tingley Hospital.

The recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, Dr. Gross is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, Orthopaedic Overseas, and the America Orthopaedic Association.

Dr. Gross is married and has two children, two step-children, and four grandchildren. He will be working at the Greenville Shriners Hospital for one week each month.

Together, Dr. Gross, along with fellow Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville pediatric orthopaedic surgeons David Westberry, M.D.; Peter Stasikelis, M.D.; T. Whitney Gibson, D.O.; and Michael Mendelow, M.D.; operate with more than a century of experience.

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Bears Offer a Unique Patient Experience

by Shriners on August 20, 2014

DSC_0972At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, we know that sometimes it’s the small things that can make a big difference in helping a child heal. That’s why our care extends beyond the patient to involve the family as well. We call it family-centered care and it permeates all we do. Our unique patient experience addresses not just the child’s medical needs, but his and the family’s emotional needs as well. That’s where Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville’s Bear Club comes in.

The Bear Club is a positive program that helps alleviate some of a child’s apprehension surrounding a hospital stay and helps patients focus on something other than their surgery. After all, alleviating stress is an important part of the healing process. Greenville Shriners Hospital Child Life therapist, Elaine Hardin says, “When I greet families who are coming in for surgery, both the parents and child are very anxious and nervous. But after the patient gets to pick out their Build-A-Bear™ they have a smile on their face. You can see them relax.”

The Bear Club’s premise is simple: Every patient who comes into our hospital for surgery is welcomed with a brand new Build-A-Bear™, outfit of choice, and an authentic Build-A-Bear™ birth certificate. After their initial surgery, if the child requires additional surgical procedures, they can choose a new outfit to go with their bear.

Like all treatment provided by Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, from clinic appointments to prosthetics and orthotics to surgery, the Bear Club  is for all surgical patients, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. The Bear Club is a wonderful way to send every child the message that Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville is where they are not only cared for, but loved as well. At the Greenville Shriners Hospital it’s one more way we send our “Love to the rescue.”

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Conner Stroud“Never give up on your dreams. Don’t let anything get in your way” is the motto fourteen year old Conner Stroud embodies. Conner dreams of being a tennis star. Being born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD) in both legs, Conner could have been left sitting court side. PFFD is a condition where the end of the bone closest to the hip is too short, leaving Conner’s feet attached to his legs without ankles, femurs or knees. After consulting with surgeons at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, his parents made the decision to have both legs amputated when he was just two years old.

After surgery, the Prosthetics and Orthotics department at the hospital made Conner his first set of legs. Along with his prosthetic legs, the hospital also made him a set of very short legs, known as stubbies. The stubbies were to protect the ends of his legs while he was running around the house. After using the prosthetic legs for about a year, Conner decided they slowed him down too much. Wanting speed, he chose to wear the stubbies all the time.  Shriners Camp

Encouraged by his parents not to let anything stand in his way, Conner began playing tennis. Soon he was playing against able-bodied kids in local tournaments, even winning his first doubles match and several single matches. As he began winning, he also began inspiring others. Conner says, “You just need to have a positive attitude, have fun, and not worry about missing a shot.” Over the years, Conner has won several awards for his determination and inspiration on and off the court. He won the Peggy Gold Spirit Award, the Hal Southern Boy’s 12 Sportsmanship Award, and was named the Middle School Male Outstanding Player in North Carolina.

As he has become older, his competitors have gotten a lot taller and faster than he, so he is beginning to play wheelchair tennis. Conner won in the first wheelchair tennis tournament he played. Conner has attended several professional tournaments and has even been able to hit with many professional tennis players including Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, and John Isner. This past summer, he was invited to the U.S. Open and was able to meet his favorite player, Rafael Nadal.

ConnerSome of his biggest cheerleaders are his doctors, nurses, and staff at the Greenville Shriners Hospital. They hope to see Conner competing one day in the U.S. Open himself, in the wheelchair division. Conner and his family say they love the Greenville Shriners Hospital and say, “We have always felt very comfortable at the hospital and are pleased with the excellent care Conner has received and continues to receive.”

Conner is currently ranked the #1 Junior Wheelchair Tennis Player in the United States! He is ranked #21 in the World!

Conner has been a Patient Ambassador for the Greenville Shriners Hospital for more than seven years. Here are some photos of Conner through the years.

 

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Editorial Without Words

by Shriners on August 7, 2014

editorial without words photo Editorial Without WordThe photo known as the “Editorial Without Words” is probably one of the best recognized symbols of Shriners Hospitals, yet it was taken almost by accident. Randy Dieter, the photographer, recalled that in 1970, he had been on assignment covering the local Shrine Temple’s annual outing for handicapped children at the now-defunct Mesker Amusement Park in Evansville, Indiana.editorial without words photo

“I was taking shots of the midway and was using my telephoto lens,” Dieter said. “I saw a local Shriner walking by carrying a little girl in one hand and her crutches in the other. My camera wouldn’t fire. Then they were too close for my lens. I ran past them, but the camera jammed. I had to take my last shot as they walked by. It was the end of the roll. If I had to think about it, I wouldn’t have come up with something like that. Fate guides you.”editorial without words photo

“It still seems unreal,” said Bobbi Jo Wright, the little girl in the photo. “I have many wonderful memories of the years I was a patient at the St. Louis Shriners Hospital and remember all the fun activities. I was born with cerebral palsy, which resulted in many orthopaedic problems that made walking difficult. I had many surgeries at the St. Louis Hospital. They greatly improved my ability to walk.”

Bobbi Jo received her B.A. in English from Anderson University. She is active in her church and teaches Sunday School. “I use a cane when I go shopping,” she said. “If I’m walking on grassy areas, I use crutches.”

Bobbi Jo visiting her statue at the Greenville hospital in 2012

Bobbi Jo visiting her statue at the Greenville hospital in 2012

Today, the famous photo has been reproduced on stained-glass windows, mosaics, tie tacs, pins, and in statues. A larger-than-life replica of the “Editorial Without Words” stands outside the International Shrine Headquarters building in Tampa. Photographer Randy Dieter presently serves as graphics editor for the Kentucky Post.

The Shriner who was unexpectedly immortalized carrying Bobbi Jo was Al Hortman. After his daughter Laura began receiving treatment at Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis, Hortman became a Shriner.

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Kingston McQuinn

Kingston McQuinn

Every milestone children reach is a significant event in their life, as well as in the lives of their parents. The first smile, the first word, and the first step are just a few of those celebrated. As Kingston McQuinn neared the age of reaching these milestones, his mother and father waited. “We waited on Kingston to walk,” says Kingston’s mother, Amanda. “We didn’t know that he wouldn’t. We thought he was just late. I had even bought him a baby’s first step stamp for his footprint for when the day came. The day never came and he out grew the memory milestone.”

At six months old, Kingston stopped growing. After an illness and hospitalization, Kingston began losing the milestones he’s already accomplished, like weight-bearing on his legs and pulling up on furniture. Looking for answers, Amanda brought her son to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville. A diagnosis was elusive, until genetic testing confirmed Kingston had Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). SMA is a genetic disease that attacks nerve cells, also known as motor neurons in the spinal cord. The motor neurons communicate with voluntary muscles, such as those in the arms and legs and allow these body parts to have control. Lower motor neurons in the spinal cord deteriorate and eventually stop functioning. SMA can affect a child’s ability to walk, crawl, breathe, swallow and control both their head and neck.

Kingston practicing with his "walking wheels"

Kingston practicing with his “walking wheels”

While there currently is no cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Shriners Hospitals for Children focuses treatment on managing any pain and improving the child’s quality of life. With SMA, once degeneration begins you do not see any more milestones or strength development. “When we came to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, we told the doctors we wanted to see our son walk,” says Amanda. “They looked at us and said, ‘It does not matter the diagnosis or disease, here at the Greenville Shriners Hospital we will not take no for an answer. We will work our hardest to get your child to walk.’ Their determination to help our son gave me hope.”

After a year and a half of intense physical therapy twice a week, that day finally came. Amanda describes, “We had almost given up on the thought of seeing Kingston reach his walking milestone. Then one day, with a huge smile across his face, my little man came rolling out of physical therapy at the Greenville Shriners Hospital in his kid walker. Although he was in a support system and not walking independently, I was ecstatic! So you can imagine how I felt when he came out in a manual walker doing it all himself. The smile on his face was worth a million smiles.”

Kingston working with his physical therapist, Suzanne.

Kingston working with his physical therapist, Suzanne.

At nearly four years old, Kingston is now working with his physical therapist on walking using only crutches for support. “We’re so proud of him and feel that the care he gets at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville is among the best in the world. We are so thankful for them. His disease says walking with crutches is impossible but the Greenville Shriners Hospital says they will not give up or give in … and they don’t.” Kingston can now walk 125 feet! Amanda says, “People think it’s crazy that we’re willing to drive four hours round trip for just one hour of therapy twice each week. I laugh at the thought of not driving to the Greenville Shriners Hospital. We’re one of the lucky ones to have this chance. It’s a chance in a lifetime. We feel as if we’ve won the lottery. The physical therapists at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville are giving us hope and milestones.”

 

 

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Pam (r) and her twin, Sue

Pam (r) and her twin, Sue

At fourteen years old, Pam Reynolds says, “I know I was born to be an amputee.”

When she was just 10 months old she contracted a form of meningitis called Meningococcemia. Meningococcemia is a potentially life-threatening infection where the blood clots, backs up, and eventually cuts off circulation. Pam’s mom, Robin, says when the doctors first saw her daughter, “they told me they didn’t think she was going to make it. Pam’s face, cheeks, nose, her whole body were turning different shades of blue.” In order for her to make a full recovery, nine of Pam’s fingers and both of her legs had to be amputated. After spending two months in the hospital, Pam was finally able to go home.

Pam began coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville when she was two years old. Since that time, Pam has come to the hospital every 8 to 10 months for a new pair of legs. So far, the hospital has custom made her 14 new pairs of legs. Each time, Pam walks into the hospital, the prosthetists are amazed at how beat up her old legs look. Pam says she loves the legs they make her. “I’ve never had a problem with any of them. They are really good legs. I never have to have them fixed no matter how much I use them. I love Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville.” Pam’s mom says she thinks the fact that her daughter gets to design her own legs gives her daughter more ownership, “The last time she needed new legs, she asked for camouflage.  That’s what she got. She is so proud to wear those legs and show them off.”

Pam is an identical twin. Her sister Sue never contracted Meningitis. She still has both of her legs and all of her fingers. But thanks to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, when you look at the girls standing side by side, you would never know there is any difference. Side by side they run, jump, surf, play softball and soccer, and turn cartwheels. Pam says having amputated legs “doesn’t make much of a difference at all. It just takes me a little more time to figure out how I can master each new task. I never let it stop me.” Pam absolutely lives by her own advice: “Don’t think you can’t do something until you’ve tried it. Never say ‘I can’t do it.’”

For the last seven years, Pam has served as a patient ambassador for the Greenville Shriners Hospital. She has attended countless events on behalf of the hospital, shares her story, and mentors other amputees any time she gets the chance. Pam explains, “I love helping others. I think God made me an amputee so that I could help other people and kids who have amputations. I want to teach them that it doesn’t have to stop you.”

Check out some photos of Pam through the years:

Pam ReynoldsPam Reynolds Pam ReynoldsPam Reynolds    pam Pam Reynolds pam2 Pam Reynolds Pam Reynolds Pam ReynoldsPam Reynolds

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