Guest Contributor, Author at Nemours Blog

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ADP Celebrates 100th Delivery

Nemours’ Advance Delivery Program is designed for healthy moms-to-be whose babies will need complex care from the moment they’re born.

Should Parents Worry About Parechovirus?

It may feel like viruses are in the news a lot these days. And perhaps you just heard about parechovirus (puh-REH-ko-veye-rus). Well, it turns out that parechovirus isn’t new! What Is Parechovirus? Parechovirus is a virus that’s been around for many years. Parechovirus infection is pretty common, especially in kids. Did you know that most kids get a parechovirus infection by the time they turn five years old? You probably weren’t even aware if your child has had a parechovirus infection. That’s because kids usually have no symptoms or just mild ones.  Parechovirus can spread when someone comes in contact with infected poop or infected droplets of saliva or mucus that come out in a cough or sneeze. It can also spread when someone touches a contaminated surface or object. Symptoms of parechovirus infection are like symptoms that come with other cold viruses, such as a sore throat, runny nose, […]

A Tale of Two Roccos- Father & Son Kidney Transplant

Rocco started his freshman year in September 2021, excited to be in high school and ready for a new school year. Two weeks into the school year, Rocco and his family went to their favorite skate park. Rocco fell off his skateboard and injured his leg. His parents took him to the emergency room, where they found out he fractured his right ankle. During his workup in the emergency room, the care team noticed that Rocco’s blood pressure was high. Stacey, Rocco’s mom, initially did not think much of it, considering he had just broken his ankle. But the ER nurse was very insistent that they make a follow up appointment with Rocco’s pediatrician. Stacey took note and monitored Rocco’s blood pressure over the next few days. When Rocco’s blood pressure did not return to normal, Stacey immediately made an appointment with their pediatrician. At the pediatrician’s office, Stacey made […]

Quinn’s Scoliosis Journey

“We are so happy with Dr. Khoury and what he’s been able to do for our son. He is an amazing doctor. He always treats everyone with respect. We are excited to continue our scoliosis journey with Dr. Khoury and Nemours.” –Mom to Quinn (age 4) Quinn’s mom first noticed something was wrong with his back when he was just 2 months old. “I could feel a bump on one side of his back,” she explains. “I thought it was lack of muscle tone…I didn’t know that what I was feeling was the rib hump.” When she mentioned this to Quinn’s pediatrician, she diagnosed him with torticollis and Quinn began doing physical therapy. His torticollis eventually got better, but mom knew there was still something wrong with his back. That was because Quinn didn’t sit on his own until around 8 months, and he didn’t crawl until after 9 months. […]

Apifix: A Unique New Scoliosis Treatment Option

Contributed by Kevin Neal, MD, orthopedic surgeon What is the Apifix device that is used to treat scoliosis? The Apifix device has a few different names. It can also be called minimally invasive deformity correction (MID-C) or an “internal brace.” The Apifix device is a rod that is used to straighten scoliosis curves without a major spine fusion. Why do some patients want to avoid spine fusion? A spine fusion is where the vertebral bodies are stabilized so they can’t move, typically with rods and screws. The joints between the vertebrae bones are removed and bone graft is placed to help the vertebral bodies grow together and become solid. Preventing movement of the spine keeps scoliosis curves from getting worse and keeps the spine straight after it has been corrected. Spine fusion is a great operation for many patients with scoliosis. But some patients want to treat their scoliosis without […]

Overcoming Scoliosis- Alexis’ Spine Story

Contributed by Alexis. At the age of twelve when I hit puberty, my back started bothering me a lot. I made an appointment with my pediatrician, where I learned I was developing scoliosis. She referred me to Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware, where I met with pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Suken Shah for further examination. After an x-ray, we found that I had two curves measuring 22 and 23 degrees. A few months later, I received a brace to prevent my spine from getting worse. My scoliosis made my hips so off-balance that it affected my legs. I was also given a lift to wear in my shoe because my left leg was about an inch shorter than my right leg. I was supposed to wear the brace at least 18 hours a day, but I usually wore it for about 23 hours a day. I ended up wearing the brace […]

Speak Now for Kids- Family Advocacy Day

Nemours Children’s Health is proud to participate in the 2022 Children’s Hospital Association’s (CHA) Speak Now for Kids’ Family Advocacy Day. This annual event brings together pediatric patients, their families and the children’s hospitals that care for them to speak with our Congressional leaders about the unique needs of children and how children’s hospitals play a critical role in providing coordinated, specialized care for our youngest generation. This year, we are excited to bring two young champions and their families to meet virtually with our Delaware and Florida Congressional delegation members to share their inspiring stories.   David Smith*, 12 years old, Wilmington DE David started exhibiting challenging behavior at age 5. These behavioral issues became more intense over time. While he was excelling academically, he experienced strong emotional outbursts at school, which led to many trips to the principal’s office. In the beginning, school administrators believed he would outgrow […]

A Fighting Spirit- Emilee’s Story of Heart and Spine

If resilience had a name, it would be that of 12-year-old Emilee. She was born with a complex heart defect called single ventricle that required heart surgery when she was just 2 days old. Her fighting spirit endured through three more heart surgeries and several heart catheterizations. Her heart surgeon, Dr. Christian Pizarro, assisted by cardiac anesthesiologist, Dr. Ellen Spurrier, and their highly specialized team—cared for her–watching over Emilee day and night. It was a scary and unsettling time for her family, who stayed right by her side. Through it all, Emilee thrived. But her health challenges continued.  Emilee was diagnosed with scoliosis that progressed to the point that surgery was needed.  In January 2022, she underwent a spinal fusion, a major surgery for anyone, but especially risky for someone with a single ventricle heart defect. Pediatric spine surgeon, Dr. Peter Gabos, performed the complicated operation with Dr. Spurrier again […]

The Star Wars Cardiac Jedi- Vincent’s Story

Contributed by Vincent’s mom Tamara. When my father died of a heart attack at the age of 39, I was only 4 years old. It was very hard on me and I always feared that I would have a heart problem or my kids would have one. Our pediatrician recommended that both my son and daughter be seen by a cardiologist to be sure that their hearts were healthy. She asked that I get my children cleared by the cardiologist, so of course; I called Nemours Children’s Health, since we’ve had previous appointments there. My daughter and son both had an EKG;  Dr. Steven Ritz, our Nemours pediatric cardiologist, said that something showed up on Vincent’s EKG and that he would need to have an ultrasound. Dr. Ritz went over his findings in detail with us. Vincent was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome, a condition in which he has an extra electrical […]

Patient surrounded by her care team

The Beat Goes On: Grace, a Heart Patient, Shares Her Story

Back in February of 2016, I started experiencing horrible palpitations, and decided one day to go get it to check out. I was immediately diagnosed with (WPW) -Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. After my first heart ablation, everything went smoothly. I was back to doing all the sports I loved like track and cheer! I was living life to the fullest. However, a couple of months later, I started to have the same palpitations, along with being super tired and getting dizzy. The doctor I originally went to had moved away, so my mom who is a nurse, did her research, and we decided to switch over to Nemours Children’s Health.  Seeing a cardiologist there, I had my second heart ablation in December 2016. I was 14 years old and have had two heart ablations! The surgery was quick, and I was told that everything looked good, they said. I recovered perfectly and […]

Dancing Perfection- Samantha’s Spine Story

During a routine scoliosis check in school, Samantha received some alarming news. She was diagnosed with scoliosis and her spine had grown into an S shape. After meeting with multiple doctors and specialists, Samantha’s family decided to come to Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware to meet with Dr. Suken Shah, pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Due to the severity of the curve, Dr. Shah determined that a posterior spinal fusion was needed to correct her spine and prevent pain and disability in later life. Samantha was nervous but determined. She continued dancing, her passion, up until the day of her surgery. Her determination continued as she was able to stand within hours of her surgery, and walked the hospital halls the next day thanks to excellent pain management and the Nemours rapid recovery pathway.  She was also thrilled to learn she had grown a couple of Inches! Not sure she would ever dance again, Samantha […]

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