How would you describe your child to someone who hasn't met him or her?
Westin is a wild and fun-loving two-and-a-half year old who is full of life. He enjoys playing outside in his sandbox or driving his car. He also enjoys the zoo, drawing with chalk and helping his grandma in the garden.
How did your family come to find out about Gillette?
Westin was prenatally diagnosed with spina bifida and bilateral clubfoot at 20 weeks. After talking to other families of children with spina bifida, we found out about Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare from those families who were receiving their medical care there. Westin is seen at Gillette’s spina bifida clinic in which he is evaluated by a physical therapist, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, a urologist, a neurosurgeon, and an orthopedic surgeon. He also has renal ultrasounds to continue to monitor the health of his bladder and kidneys.
What has your experience at Gillette been like for your child and family?
Our experience at Gillette had been amazing! Everyone is so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. While everyone on the staff is great, we especially like working with Dr. David Vandersteen. Because bowel/bladder management is something that Westin will deal with throughout his lifetime, I feel that this relationship is extremely important.
As an out-of-state family, why do you make the long drive so that Westin can receive care at Gillette?
When we received Westin’s diagnosis, we made a promise to him that we would always get him the best care possible. While Westin wasn't born at Gillette, we soon realized there had to be something better out there and that is what we found in Gillette. When it comes to a diagnosis such as Westin’s, it is so important for everyone to be on the same page and have the same plan. We choose to travel three hours for Westin’s appointments because we know he is receiving the best care at Gillette. As a parent that feeling is priceless.
Why does Westin make you proud?
He is such a strong little boy. In his short little life he has been through so much and he does it all with a smile on his face. He doesn't let his disability define who he is.