The Perfect, Positive Storm

We’ve all heard about the Perfect Storm, when all the conditions are perfect and come together at just the right time and place.  Sometimes this storm can be a positive, wonderful thing!

Meet Luke. He is about to turn two years old, and has been coming to MCRC since he was just a few weeks old. You see, Luke has Erb’s Palsy; a condition caused during birth which damages the nerves that prompt the arms to work.  Luke’s left arm was nearly immobile from the shoulder to the wrist.

Luke’s pediatrician told his parents it was important to get him to physical therapy right away and they took him very seriously. Luke’s dad, Tim, was on the phone right away and soon found out there were not many options available for them and no one seemed to have an opening in the next few weeks. Tim then called MCRC, turns out- there had been a cancelation for an evaluation that day! Tim, his wife, Lynnsey, and their kids brought Luke right away, a nearly two-hour drive from their home in Ackerly.

The evaluation confirmed the diagnosis and physical therapy was immediately started. But therapy didn’t just happen at MCRC.  Tim and Lyndsey understood how important it was to manipulate Luke’s arm everyday- several times a day. By working with Brooke Mueller, P.T., M.Ed., they learned how to properly work with Luke so that his therapy was happening daily. In addition, because MCRC doesn’t file with insurance, Luke was able to have PT as frequently as his therapist, Brooke, thought best to give him the greatest chance of success.

Early on Luke was making progress, but he was still monitored. Surgery was an option his orthopedist thought probable. Dr. Diab, a pediatric orthopedist that comes to MCRC once a month and sees children at no cost to families, recommended he go to Scottish Rite hospital for further evaluation. There they took a watch and see approach, telling the family that surgery was highly likely. This seemed to further motivate Luke’s parents to exercise at home, attend therapy multiple times a week- anything to avoid surgery.

Luke continued an aggressive therapy session at MCRC and mom and dad did their part at home. On January 11, 2018, Luke was discharged from MCRC. He will not need surgery and he has 98% function in his left arm, that only 20 months ago, lay limp beside his body.

The perfect positive storm! Quick and early intervention, strong parent involvement, no limitations from insurance companies, access to doctors and specialists and a therapist who wouldn’t give up.

 

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