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Getting Ahead of the Curve

Meet Reyna

Reyna is an active high school sophomore who enjoys playing basketball and participating in Future Farmers of America (FFA). However, nearly two years ago a minor slip and fall at home led to her diagnosis of scoliosis.

While still in middle school, Reyna fell down the stairs while carrying her family pet. At first, no one thought it was a big deal, but the next day she was still out of breath. So they took her to the emergency room where doctors took X-rays and examined her to make sure that everything was okay.

While her doctors did not find any life-threatening issues, they did discover that Reyna’s spine was curved. After several more doctor visits, Reyna’s parents were not offered any solutions to correct her condition. Meanwhile, her spine was curving more and more as she continued to grow.

A local Shriner and family friend who heard about Reyna’s situation referred the family to Shriners Children’s Texas.

The nurses that she had were like family. They stuck with us through all the hurdles because it was a rollercoaster.
Dayna, Reyna's mother

Reyna’s mother, Dayna, recalls feeling a sense of shock in the exam room when she found out her daughter’s spine went from a 32-degree curve to a 56-degree curve in less than a year. “There was a significant difference in her appearance,” Dayna said, noting that you could not tell Reyna had any spinal issues when she initially fell down the stairs a little more than a year earlier.

After a successful corrective surgery performed by William Phillips, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Shriners Children’s Texas, Reyna is now on the road to recovery with hopes of returning to basketball next year, and participating in FFA events. “It’s all so fun for me,” Reyna said.

Both Reyna and her mom love the care they received in the Galveston hospital, as the staff made a point to talk to them thoroughly, and made sure they had everything they needed. “The nurses that she had were like family,” Dayna said. “They stuck with us through all the hurdles because it was a rollercoaster.”

Reyna added, “Dr. Phillips talked to me and not just my mom.” He answered questions in a way that I could really understand.”

While not every scoliosis patient requires surgery, some patients like Reyna have a curve that progresses quickly during a teenage growth spurt. Luckily, Reyna was able to get ahead of the curve with this type of intervention.

Reyna Stays Busy with Lots of Activities

Reyna participates in many sports and is a member of Future Farmers of America.

Reyna in recovery room with two providers

Reyna in recovery at Shriners Children's Texas after her surgery

Reyna surrounded by balloons

Reyna showing off her Future Farmers of America awards

Reyna running race in city

Reyna running in the 911 Heroes Run in Houston

Reyna wearing helmet

Reyna taking an upside-down selfie while ziplining


Reyna plays basketball for her high school team.

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