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From Breech to Bouncing Baby Girl: Aura’s Story

When Aura was in the womb, it was discovered that she was breech and had been stuck in the same position for several weeks.

After three unsuccessful attempts to flip her in the womb, her parents started preparing for an inevitable C-section. When the day came, after a difficult surgery the OB/GYN discovered clicking in Aura's hip joints. Spencer, Aura’s mom, said, “That’s when we knew something was wrong.”

Aura was soon diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Spencer was heartbroken. She said, “As a new mom, I just wanted my baby to be healthy and I felt like I failed that task. We want what’s best for our children, so I knew I would do anything in my power to help.” Spencer’s doctor contacted Shrin­ers Chil­dren’s as soon as Aura was diagnosed. “It was actually an easy decision to go with Shriners Children’s,” said Spencer, “because Aura needed help.”

Hip dysplasia occurs when the socket is shallower than normal. “If it’s untreated, eventually the ball of the hip will work its way out of the socket,” said William Hohl, M.D., “and that produces a disastrous result because one leg will be shorter than the other. You can’t walk very far because you’re using your muscles much more. The whole purpose of treating hip dysplasia is to not let that happen.”

Aura’s first appointment at Shriners Children’s Medford was in July of 2021. They were welcomed warmly by staff and met Dr. Hohl. In that first visit, Dr. Hohl immediately recommended Aura be put in the Pavlik harness, a fabric harness that keeps her hips in the right position to allow the hip joint bones to develop fully.

Dr. Hohl showed Spencer the process of how to properly put the harness on Aura during the appointment, but he understood that it’s difficult to retain all the information at a medical appointment, which can be emotionally charged. Though the Medford Clinic is only open on Saturdays, he knew Spencer would have access to the experienced staff at Shriners Children’s Portland during the week. “That’s one of the great things about the Shriners Children’s system,” said Dr. Hohl. “There are knowledgeable people that you can get on the phone and get an answer to the question, and questions come up all the time.”

If any child needs to seek medical attention, I would strongly push for Shriners Children’s. They make everything so much easier in a stress-free environment. They have helped my family tremendously and are still working with us today.
Spencer, Aura's mom

Spencer certainly utilized the expertise that is available those first few weeks. “Shriners Children’s has been absolutely amazing,” she said. “I remember calling almost every day with new questions, and they helped me every single time. It was also very convenient that we didn’t have to travel up to Portland for any of this.”

As Aura came to the Medford Clinic to check her progress, Spencer valued Dr. Hohl’s specialized care. She appreciated that he made sure to always interact with Aura in a comforting, caring way to ensure she didn’t get scared or nervous, and he never made Spencer feel uncomfortable when she would cry during an appointment.

Aura was in the Pavlik harness for about three months. It was only removed for bathing and clothing changes. It was difficult for a developing baby to be restricted in her movements while in the harness, but Spencer wouldn’t change a thing, as in just three months, Aura’s hip joints saw vast improvement. She still has a long road ahead of her, though. There is more progress to be made in the development of her hips, and Shriners Children’s will be there with her every step of the way.

Spencer highly recommends Shriners Children’s to any child in need of orthopedic care. “They make everything so much easier in a stress-free environment. They have helped my family tremendously and are still working with us today. I know that they will fix Aura’s hip dysplasia.”

Since finding Shriners Children’s, close family and friends have donated to and supported Shriners Children’s throughout the United States. Spencer said, “We have participated in events to support Shriners Children’s, like the Shriners Children’s Portland Walk for LOVE. Before our experience, I had never actually heard of Shriners Children’s, but I’m glad to finally learn more about them and know how many families they’ve helped!”

Meet Aura

Wearing the Pavlik harness for three months allowed Aura's hips to develop properly.

aura wearing pavlik harness laying down

The Pavlik harness keeps the hips in position to help develop the hip socket properly while still providing some movement for a growing baby girl.

spencer and aura

Spencer saw Aura through the full three months of wearing the Pavlik harness and wouldn't change a thing!

family member holding aura

The Pavlik harness doesn't get in the way of all the cuddles!

aura looking at camera

Aura was able to participate in all the family activities while in the Pavlik harness.

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