Hand Difference Does Not Define London
It’s been almost four years since Kerry and her husband, Stephen, had to make the difficult decision to amputate their daughter London’s hand. As seen in her anatomy ultrasound and confirmed at birth, London was born with a lymphatic malformation on her left hand. Nothing could be done to treat the enlarged hand, and it drew a lot of unwanted attention.
A person with one hand from Kerry’s parents’ church recommended Shriners Children’s. Kerry made her initial call when London was just 1 month old. Kerry remembers an overwhelmingly comfortable feeling when she came to their first appointment. “As soon as we walked in the door, we knew we were home,” she said.
They met with orthopedic hand surgeon and Chief of Staff Scott Kozin, M.D., who examined London’s hand and decided that continually draining the hand was only a temporary fix, and the best option would be to amputate her hand.
Dr. Kozin is a wonderful man and doctor. His compassion for the patient and the way he interacts with the family let me know he was honest and had exhausted every possible option.
London and Dr. Kozin have developed a unique bond over the years, she affectionately calls him her “nub doctor.” “I love Dr. Kozin,” said London. “He is my nub doctor.”
During London’s last visit to Shriners Children's Philadelphia, Dr. Kozin examined London’s arm for the third time since her hand was amputated. There was no sign of further enlargement or recurrent lymphatic malformation, which was good news. He will continue to check the limb as London grows and explore prosthetics when she is a little older.
Kerry is forever grateful to Shriners Children’s Philadelphia and members of Shriners International, the founders of Shriners Children’s and Omar Shriners, who help provide transportation to and from the hospital.
“We could have never done this journey without the support of the Omar Shriners who continue to help with our transportation each time we come here,” said Kerry. “They have adopted our family over the last few years. Not only do they cover the expenses of anything and everything, they have also made London their Shriners Ambassador and Shriners Hero in 2021 and 2023.”
London is now 4 years old and loves going to indoor play places and the park. She also enjoys playing with her big sister.