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A Scoliosis Story: How Halo Traction Changed my Son’s Life

A Scoliosis Story: How Halo Traction Changed My Son’s Life

The halo program at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville provides life-changing results for severe scoliosis cases. Using traction created by spring-loaded technology, patient’s spines are gently straightened over a series of weeks or months. This gradual process increases the chance for surgical success in the operation that follows, and for patients like Noah – the return to a fulfilling life!
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Crystal: We got sent to Shriners right away. The people at the front desk gave them little toys. My daughters was with us. They made him feel comfortable and special. And we got the appointment set up because he had scoliosis pretty severe. We knew he was going to have to do the halo program ahead of time. So I kind of knew a lot of things before we even came here, that it was going to be a process. But down to Child Life came in, we walked around the hospital, we met the nurses and all the surgeons. It was like, made us feel very comfortable coming to Shriner's. I knew right away that this is where he needed to be. This was the best place for him. Even he, being terrified of the surgery, wanted to come to Shriners.

And when they put the halo on, it went very smoothly. He woke up, little headache. He was up running around the next day. And he made friends here, lifelong friends. Him and Ethan, a little boy he had met, are still in contact. They would run through the hospital with their halos attached. It was watching the life come back into him. And it was like before my eyes watching him change, my son's coming back. He straightened. When he went met Dr. Wattenbarger, the very first day we came, he sat down with us. It wasn't like he was in a hurry like most doctors. He made me feel very comfortable. I always tell him he's like an angel, that God sent him into our lives, because he has been a blessing, what he'd done for him.

I was so scared. He comforted me. He walked me through exactly the whole process, because I have very bad anxiety. I was terrified. He's my only son. I was scared something bad would happened. But it was a miracle seeing how he is now. His energy came back. His appetite's more and he's doing better in school. Dr. Wattenbarger is... I told him after his surgery, if we didn't have to worry about COVID, I would have kissed him. I was so happy to see... He woke up from surgery and it was like... Because I was terrified seeing him on the bed, but it was just amazing.

And he was up walking. Now he's running, and you would never know he even had surgery. No more pain. It's just been amazing. And I would love to say thank you to the whole hospital, down to the housekeeping staff, to the nurses, the physical therapists, the Child Life, the surgeons, the people who make this possible. Because I would've probably lost my son if it wasn't for this hospital. I could tell that his spine was pushing on his heart and his lungs. All I can say is, thank you, thank all of you for making this possible for these kids.