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Sibling Helps Make Brother's Spine Cast

Cooper and his brother Zack had a unique sibling moment at the hospital. Certified prosthetist Lauren Kells invited Cooper to help her make his brother’s cast for a back brace. Cooper helped dip the fiberglass in water and handed it to Kells. After it was all applied, he helped rub the layers together to help the cast "set."

Zack is lying on a Risser Table, a large metal frame which supports the patient lying down so the prosthetist can wrap material all the way around the patient to make a cast. When it’s done, Kells cuts off the cast and takes a 3-D scan to fabricate a custom brace known as a TLSO. Wearing this back brace may help prevent Zack’s spine curve from progressing.

The brothers from Indiana both have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), a type of muscular dystrophy which affects the nerves. This can cause issues with movement and sensation, particularly in the legs and arms. Scoliosis, an abnormal spine curve, is common with some types of CMT, according to Molly Grant, MSN, APN, CPNP, who works in our hospital’s specialized muscular dystrophy clinic with Peter Smith, M.D.

“Sometimes I’ll get siblings or the patients involved in different things, measuring, rubbing the casting material and handing me tools. It helps distract them, makes the time pass faster for them while I’m molding, and gets them excited about their braces,” Kells said.

Cooper’s dad, Ed, said his son “jumped at the chance” to help his brother in the cast room.

If you know a child who needs care in our specialized muscular dystrophy clinic, have a parent or guardian call 773-385-KIDS(5437).

Zack and Cooper

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