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Young Patient Takes Her First Steps Thanks to New Prosthetic Leg

Strawberry milk has the power to make a hospital feel like home. Well, that and a team dedicated to providing kids and their families with an uncommon level of care. Just ask 9-year-old patient Taylor and her mom, Rachel. According to Rachel, the staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville “will do whatever it takes to make Taylor as comfortable as possible whenever she comes to stay. They even make her strawberry milk every single morning, like I do when we’re home.”

Diagnosed with arthrogryposis multiplex congenital (AMC) in utero, Taylor’s family never knew that treating the rare condition was an option. Doctors regularly told them that Taylor would never live an independent life, as AMC causes a lack of muscle development along with stiffness and deformity in more than one joint of the body – and Taylor’s case was severe.

With almost no mobility in her arms and legs, Taylor had never set foot out of her power chair – until recently.

Referred to Lauren Hyer, M.D., at the Greenville Shriners Hospital through a Facebook support group when Taylor was 8, Rachel said the experience has been “absolutely life-changing.”

After rounds of intensive therapy and bracing to help get her moving, Taylor’s team of doctors and physical and occupational therapists gathered with the family to discuss what they believed to be the best path forward: amputating Taylor’s most severely damaged and bent leg.

During that meeting, Rachel was surprised to discover that “Taylor was included in every decision made. The team gave her all the facts and made sure she understood what everything meant.” Ultimately, Taylor was the one who decided to move forward with the amputation, and today she couldn’t be more excited about the outcome: a custom-made prosthetic wrapped in unicorns.

“For the first time in a very long time, we have hope,” said Rachel. “Taylor has been given a quality of life we never thought possible."

Just recently, she took her very first steps – and she doesn’t plan on stopping there. Soon, she intends to do the things she’s always dreamed of, like riding a bike and heading outdoors all by herself, skateboard in hand.

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