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Jason's Clubfoot Journey

Jason's Clubfoot Journey

Meet Jason, a patient from upstate New York who was born with bilateral complex clubfoot. Since December of 2010, Jason and his family have traveled more than 13,500 miles over the course of 60+ trips to the hospital. When asked if all the travel was worth it, Jason’s mother answered, “Every mile.”
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Laura:
When Jason was first born, we did not know that he was going to be born with his bilateral complex clubfoot. That was a surprise to us. It was not something that was found on the anatomy scans with ultrasound while I was pregnant. We weren't really prepared for what was going to happen. We didn't know. This was all new to us.

Laura:
I had heard through other parents and other providers that Shriners was a great option, but to hear it from my local doctor saying, "It's time. Let's bring Jason to the best pediatric ortho that we can find," I remember being so nervous. "What is going to happen? How is this going to be? What is this hospital like?" And we got here and it was just, it was like the sunshine through the clouds moment and everyone was so friendly, and this was a hospital that truly catered to children.

Jacob:
I like Shriners Hospital because everyone is very nice.

Sarah Durgin MHS PA-C:
The treatment for clubfeet has evolved over time. In the past used to be casting followed by fairly big surgeries. But now we've adopted the Ponseti technique, which is a method of serial casting where casts are changed on a weekly basis to slowly change the position of a clubfoot over time. And the hope is that we can minimize the need for surgical interventions.

Sarah Durgin MHS PA-C:
So there are some clubfeet that are more complex or a little more difficult to deal with than your typical clubfeet. We call them "complex clubfeet" and in those cases, we still try with the Ponseti technique and do our best with casting to try and minimize the amount of surgery. But in some cases, the feet are just too stiff and rigid and require further surgery, just like Jason's did.

Laura:
As a mom, as any parent, I think would feel it's very stressful to know that your child has to have some type of surgery. Being able to be here at Shriners, there was such a relief knowing that the care he was receiving was from specialists who understood pediatrics, who understood the dynamics of a family, who understood the stress of a parent.

Jacob:
I like Dr. Sarah because she's nice like everyone else.

Sarah Durgin MHS PA-C:
So Jason is doing very well now. He is now nine years old. His feet are flat on the floor. We can never make them normal, but we've got feet that are flat to the floor. He's running, playing and doing everything a nine year old kids should do. And we'll just continue to help him along the way as long as we can.

Laura:
I've never been alone. I've always had a care team. I've always had somebody telling us how it will be all right and reminding us that we can still live. We'll be okay. We'll still live our lives as parents and as families and as kids.

Laura:
That love and that care just speaks volumes to me as a parent, knowing that the staff are willing to go far beyond out of their reach and out of their way to make sure that the youngest patients and the most vulnerable patients will feel that love.