My Daughter, Malikia Hammock, is 12 ½ years old. I would describe Malikia as a child who fractures easily because of her brittle bones, but who never gives up.
We found out about Gillette Children’s Specialty Heathcare when Malikia was four months old. It was her first known fracture at the time. When I brought her to a local hospital, the emergency room doctor noticed the whites of Malikia’s eyes (the sclera) appeared blue. This is a telltale sign of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a rare bone disorder also known as brittle bone disease. At Gillette, follow up testing confirmed Malikia’s condition.
Malikia has received a lot of services at Gillette such as; endocrinologist services, genetic services, surgeries, physical therapy, intravenous services, orthopedic care, evaluations for her wheelchair fittings, and dental care. Our experience at Gillette has been awesome. The casting technicians know her well and they even have nicknames for each other! When they see each other in passing in the hallway, they give each other a hard time. The front desk staff knows her by name, but the best part of that is that they actually pronounce her name correctly. I also really like the valet parking. And at times, we have used the coat-check. They are both very helpful when you have a child who maybe using crutches that day or in a wheelchair.
During her time with Gillette, Malikia has seen many different doctors and specialists, so it’s hard to choose a favorite. I think she really likes the casting technicians because they allow her to continue on in her daily activities after she gets that cast on. Malikia’s favorite thing to do is attend all types of sporting events; her favorite team is the Minnesota Twins. Her last cast was red and blue, the Twins’ colors, and then we went to a Minnesota Twins game. She loves the arts, attending movies, swimming, and spending time with her nieces and nephews and her adult sisters.
Malikia makes me most proud to be her mother because she is not a quitter. She has a high pain tolerance and a high endurance level. She shows me how to live life to its fullest and to never give up on anything you want to do.