sam on stretcher before surgery

Feb 19, 2019 / Spotlight

Share Your Story: Why I Give Back

Meet Jan and Sam, the chair of 2018 Cookies and Castles and her son, who was treated by our Scoliosis and Spine experts. Learn more about their journey below.

Blog written by Jan, of Dallas. 

At the age of 5, our son Sam was diagnosed with scoliosis. We visited the expert team of specialists at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and Sam started to receive corrective treatment. 
 
Corrective treatment consisted of Sam wearing a hard-plastic brace, custom made for him by the Orthotics department. The brace went from his chest down to his hips and he wore it for up to 18 hours a day. As he grew, we would visit the hospital every six to eight months to have new braces made. Sam would be measured and have new X-rays taken. Each and every time, these braces became bigger and heavier.   
 
His appointments were often several hours long and this gave Sam and me numerous opportunities to visit with other patient families. We heard stories about other families driving for hours, or flying from great distances, often involving tremendous travel expenses just to have the opportunity to be treated at Scottish Rite Hospital. 

We realized just how lucky we were that this renowned hospital was only 20 minutes away from our home in Dallas. 

As Sam’s team of doctors had predicted, his curve became much worse around the age of 16. It became too severe for bracing and corrective surgery would soon be needed. The surgery required placing two titanium rods, held in place with 36 screws, on either side of Sam’s spine to permanently support his back. As scary as this sounded to us, everyone at the hospital, from the pre-surgery staff, Dr. Sucato and the team of surgeons, and the incredible nursing staff – everyone took great care of Sam. Thanks to Scottish Rite Hospital, Sam now stands 6’5” and is enjoying his sophomore year in college.
 
After many years of being endeared to Scottish Rite Hospital for everything they did to help our family, an opportunity to give back landed in my lap. The Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Tri Delta Sorority has an incredible annual event called Cookies & Castles, where children and their families come together to kick off the holiday season by decorating gingerbread houses. Families and hospital patients fill the atrium while enjoying the sweet smell of candy and gingerbread. As a member of Tri Delta, I was asked to chair the event in 2018. 
 
I never expected I would have a chance like this to give back to the people that had given so much to my family. Stepping back into the hospital and seeing patients, alongside their parents, energized me to work hard to raise money to support such an incredible place.  


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