Hometown: Eureka, CA
Why Shriners: Orthopaedic Conditions
Patient Since: 2004
Louie was born with orthopaedic conditions that challenged his ability to stand straight and tall and grip small objects. When he was 2 ½ years old, his doctor referred him to the orthopaedic team a Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California.
At Shriners, Louie is seen by several doctors and has benefited from the team approach to care. Dr. Craig McDonald, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, has followed Louie’s progress through the years. Louie has had three surgeries on his hands and surgery on his feet at Shriners. He is seen by Dr. Munish Gupta, Director of the Pediatric Spine Program, with whom Louie’s parents Ron and Joeinne consult on the potential need for surgery as their son grows. Over the years, Sonny Alcairo has made several braces for Louie in the hospital’s orthotics and prosthetics lab.
“I am now able to walk and I am way more confident.” says Louie, who brightens the room with his smile. “My surgeries have helped me do better in school and in sports by giving me better use of my hands. My foot surgeries have helped my walking, I can play basketball now,” he says, adding that he was assistant coach for the girls and boys basketball teams at his school in Eureka.
Louie excels in school, where his classmates elected him to be 8th grade class president. He enjoys a lively conversation and one day dreams of being a famous rapper. On his last visit to the hospital, Louie inspired staff when he performed a rap song he wrote about his Shriners Hospital experience.