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Providing Life-changing Care for Children with Limb Differences: Meet Rosie

The Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services department works with patients like Rosie to create one-of-a-kind prosthetics.

With more than two million people living with limb loss in the United States, Shriners Children’s provides care from the Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) department to thousands of children each year, including Salt Lake City patient Rosie.

The Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City POPS department staff works with patients like Rosie to create one-of-a-kind prosthetics and orthotics tailored to their particular needs and development. The POPS team designs everything from shoe inserts, braces and artificial limbs to specialized devices that can help a child walk, run, ride a bike or play competitive sports.

Laura Dailey, a prosthetist at Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City, said the devices they create are often a work of art and engineering. Many of the orthotics and prosthetics provided are custom-made, meaning patients get the exact, detailed specifications needed to treat their condition.

“Our team takes such pride in creating devices that help kids live their best lives,” said Dailey. “I think when you combine the years of experience our POPS teams have with all of the new technology that is available today, you can see some truly amazing devices being created that not only help a child live their daily lives, but really excel at whatever they put their mind to. So for a child with a limb difference that always wanted to do something like play the violin, now it’s possible.”

It's hard to put into words what that feels like as a parent. Shriners Children’s has been so incredibly supportive for our family, and she’s learned that anything she can dream, they can create. Even if they’ve never made a device like that before, if it helps her, they’ll make it.
Eileen, Rosie's mom

Thirteen-year-old Rosie is an example of the difference the POPS department can make in a child’s life. Rosie is a quadruple amputee who received her first myoelectric arm earlier this year. Her mom, Eileen, said she’s already seeing the difference it's making in her confidence and ability to be independent.

“When she got her new arm, she came home from school and was so excited to tell me that she was able to raise her hand in class to answer a question for the first time,” said Eileen. “She didn't even know how to totally control all her fingers yet, but raising her hand meant so much to her. It's hard to put into words what that feels like as a parent. Shriners Children’s has been so incredibly supportive for our family, and she’s learned that anything she can dream, they can create. Even if they’ve never made a device like that before, if it helps her, they’ll make it.”

Over the last few months, Rosie has made tremendous progress with her myoelectric arm. She’s loved using it to make her favorite meals, discovering new goofy poses to make, and showing it off to her friends and family. In fact, Eileen said the arm has been a great conversation starter.

“If we are in a store and someone stares at Rosie, instead of shying away, we walk up to them and start a conversation,” Eileen said. It helps them understand kids like Rosie better and realize they have more similarities than differences. So don’t be ashamed of your differences; allow them to be a light!”

Rosie's Journey with Her Myoelectric Arm

Rosie has made great strides with her new arm, from cooking to making funny faces.

Rosie cooking with prosthetic myoelectric arm

Rosie helps cook dinner with her new arm. She's loved being able to make her own meals!

Rosie in car wearing prosthetic myoelectric arm

Rosie rests her head on her myoelectric arm in a thinking pose. With the help of the POPS department, she has been able to continue to be her silly, goofy self.

Rosie's myoelectric arm shaking hands

Rosie uses her myoelectric arm to shake her sister's hand.

Rosie drinking from water bottle using prosthetic myoelectric arm

Rosie drinks from a water bottle using her myoelectric arm.

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