Brothers proud to be patient ambassadors at Shriners Hospital Open in Las Vegas

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California is proud to introduce Mitchell and Spencer Cady as patient ambassadors to the 2017 SHC Open.  Thanks to orthopaedic surgeons at Shriners Hospital, Mitchell, 12, and Spencer, 10, are active participants in school and sports. Spencer, 10, was born with bilateral club feet and referred to Shriners by his pediatrician when he was just 1 week old. Mitchell, 12, first came to the Northern California hospital at age 5.  Along with their parents, Brad and Marni, the Cady boys know the nurses and staff members by name and have made friends with many other patients.

Spencer is a patient of Dr. Joel Lerman, an orthopaedic surgeon noted for his work in treating children with club foot. Dr. Lerman examined Spencer when he was an infant and immediately put casts on both legs. At six months, Spencer transitioned to Ponseti braces.  Four separate surgeries, two on each foot, ensued over the next five years. Spencer was fitted for braces in the hospital’s orthotics and prosthetics lab. Spencer now wears AFO braces nightly and reports for regular checkups every four months.

“All of Spencer’s surgeries were life savers. They allowed him to walk and look and play like a normal little boy,” says Marni.  “His legs, due to club foot, would be severely deformed had it not been for Shriners.”

Faced with a mild case of cerebral palsy, Mitchell began physical therapy when he was a year old.  Impressed by the care her young son Spencer received at Shriners, Marni submitted an application for Mitchell and was referred to Dr. Jon R. Davids, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon noted for his work in using motion analysis to diagnose and treat children with cerebral palsy.

Mitchell’s treatment began with a study of his lower extremities in the hospital’s motion analysis lab. The study showed that he was a candidate for surgery. In September 2013, Dr. Davids operated on Mitchell’s left foot and leg. He was in a cast for weeks before beginning aggressive physical therapy.

“Dr. Davids is a miracle worker,” says Marni.

While her sons had very different needs, Marni said both “received the best care we could possibly ask for. The thing we appreciate the most is the number one goal always revolves around what is best for the patient. The fact that the hospital is able to help with both of our children’s conditions has made it even more amazing.”

Mitchell was promoted to black belt in karate on his 12th birthday last year.  Spencer plays basketball and soccer and enjoys little league baseball. Both boys are avid swimmers and enjoy trying their swing at golf with their father, who worked many years as a golf pro.

“We don’t know what we would have done without Shriners Hospitals for Children,” says Marni. “When it comes to children, they get it.”


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