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Brody, 8
Frederick, MD

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The first thing you notice about Brody is his ear-to-ear smile.  He is such a happy and loving boy in spite of the physical challenges he faces. Before Brody was born, his parents were excited to learn they were expecting twins. The pregnancy was monitored closely and during a sonogram, doctors observed that Brody's hands and feet were clubbed and there was no movement. Clubbed hands and feet can be symptomatic of several conditions, so the next few months the family played a waiting game not knowing what to expect. Upon birth, Brody was diagnosed with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, an extremely rare condition affecting the muscles and joints in his arms and legs. Doctors had to research the condition in order to help explain things because information was so limited. 

Fortunately, Brody was referred early to the wonderful team at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia who were able to answer the many questions parents had. Dr. Van Bosse, the lower extremity specialist, began serial casting on Brody's clubbed feet. Dr. Zlotolow, the upper extremity specialist, examined Brody's arms and hands, and sent Brody to occupational therapy where they custom made hand and elbow splints for him to wear. Brody had to perform daily stretches and exercises to gain as much range of motion as possible in his affected joints. When he was 18 months old he had his first major surgery.  Dr. Van Bosse performed an osteotomy to rotate his legs so that he would be in a better position to stand and hopefully be able to walk one day.  Just shy of Brody's third birthday, Dr. Zlotolow performed the same surgery on his left arm. This surgery helped put his left hand in a better position to further support every day function and enable him to be more independent as he grows. Brody's family is devoted to making his life the best it can be and it is evident in every interaction with the team at Shriners that they are as well.  The comfort and assurance that Brody's parents have for his future is because doctors and staff work so hard to help all of the children like Brody. His Parents look at the journey ahead, confident that Brody is in the best hands to maximize his potential and provide assistance in him in becoming an independent living adult.  Brody's Parents are forever grateful to the doctors and staff at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia for investing time and energy to help Brody realize his potential.

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