Brady is Driven to Succeed Thanks to Shriners Children's
The work of Jeffrey D. Ackman, M.D., Bill Craggs, and the Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) team allows patients like Brady to pursue their passions regardless of obstacles along the way.
“His goal is to race a ‘late model,’ and one day join a team as a full-time driver, " said Rose, Brady's mom.
Brady, 20, a patient at Shriners Children’s Chicago, can be seen racing three nights a week in stock car #64. “I race Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and would love to race for my full-time job,” Brady said.
In most ways, Brady is just like any other young adult. In his free time, he loves hunting, fishing and bowling. In addition, he enjoys “racing my friends on go-carts and dirt bikes on a dirt track.”
Those dreams, however, seemed a far distance away 17 years ago. When he was 3, Brady was involved in a lawnmower injury and lost part of his foot.
Several years later, Brady and his family first heard about Shriners Children’s Chicago at a bowling tournament. “A lady came up to me and told me her husband was a Shriner, and informed me of what the Chicago hospital could do for my son,” said Rose.
He came to Shriners Children’s Chicago as a young teen with a very bowed leg and a foot prosthesis. He remembers it was a special place, even in the lobby. “When we walked into the hospital, nobody stared at us. I was shocked at that. The doctors, kids, parents are all so nice, everyone is so friendly,” Brady said.
Brady had surgery in 2017 when he was 13. Dr. Ackman, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and head of the prosthetics clinic, performed surgery to correct the bowing. Dr. Ackman also shortened Brady’s leg a small amount so a prosthesis would fit better.
After surgery, Brady worked with Bill Craggs, CPO, and the POPS team. They were able to fit Brady with a slightly larger, below-knee prosthetic, which gave him more functional options for a prosthetic foot, allowing him to participate in activities he enjoys today, like racing.
Dr. Ackman and his team, Bill Craggs and the POPS team, they go above and beyond, and they are good at what they do.
Thanks to their on-site location at Shriners Children’s, POPS started making prosthetics for Brady shortly after surgery, and have made four more over the years for him.
“Brady has a unique presentation that requires a non-standard prosthetic to meet his needs and activities,” said Bill Craggs, the manager of the POPS team. “The most important factor has been to make sure he has a good, comfortable fit so that he can wear his leg for 12-plus hours a day.”
“Brady has already succeeded, and will continue to be successful, because of his hard work and persistence. POPS has been a small part of that by keeping him on his feet so that he can work full time and chase his dream of driving race cars,” said Craggs.
Shriners Children's care and services helped Brady walk and play, better and for longer distances, and he said the care helped him become more social.
Brady recently attended a golf outing, where he represented Shriners Children’s Chicago as a Patient Ambassador. He was able to show off his prosthetic and car, and he even signed autographs.
Thanks to Shriners Children's, there are very few limits for Brady as he moves into adulthood with a limb difference. If you happen to stumble upon a stock car race, look for #64 and you may just see a familiar face behind the wheel.