ANDREW & KATELYN PREMATURE BIRTH AND SPINA BIFIDA
Rose Mary was 31-weeks pregnant with twins Katelyn and Andrew when she was admitted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children after her water broke unexpectedly. Fortunately, the skilled medical team were able to delay their birth, giving the twins an extra four weeks to develop in the womb.
At 35 weeks, Andrew and his twin sister Katelyn were born. Andrew was diagnosed with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and club feet and had his first spinal surgery within 24 hours of his birth. Ten days later he had a shunt put in his head to drain the fluid that was putting pressure on his brain. By age 3, Andrew had endured 12 surgeries, weekly castings on his feet, countless tests and hours of therapy. Fortunately, just a few months shy of his 3rd birthday he took his first independent steps and he has not stopped walking since. Andrew's physical therapist used to say Andrew's best physical therapy was Katelyn. She played a crucial part in his developmental recovery.
Thanks to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ funds that benefit Arnold Palmer Hospital, the Child Life Specialists were able to provide distraction tools to make painful experiences better. Andrew lights up when the Child Life team visits his room and can really sense the caring and compassion they have for him.