My Gillette Story by Stephanie Loeffler, Mom to SadieSadie blessed us in this world on November 12, 2012 – three weeks before her due date. What we thought was going to be another normal, easy delivery, ended up being an emergency cesarean section. At birth, Sadie was small for her age, suffered from an enlarged liver, heart, and spleen, and had calcifications throughout her brain. A few days after her birth we found out that the cause of all of this was cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus that I had contracted while I had been pregnant. We were devastated by the news. Hearing that our little girl could be deaf, never walk or talk, and would probably have seizures was horrific news to swallow.

After 3 weeks in the NICU we got to take our sweet little girl home. When Sadie was 20 months old, we were introduced to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare during one of her routine physical therapy appointments. Her therapist noticed that when Sadie used her gait trainer to walk, her left foot turned and started to drag more and more. Together we thought braces would be a good option. Her recommendation was to go to Gillette and that’s where we met the amazing Nanette Aldahondo, M.D. She would be the one to diagnose Sadie with diplegic spastic cerebral palsy.

From that very first visit we learned so much about Sadie's diagnosis and where we were going to go from there. Sadie was fitted for her braces that My Gillette Story by Stephanie Loeffler, Mom to Sadiesame day and within a month she had them. We also planned to have Sadie see Dr. Aldahondo a few months later for botulinum toxin injections. Between Sadie’s AFO (ankle-foot orthoses) fitting and her botulinum toxin  appointment, she began walking on her own! At her botulinum toxin appointment, Dr. Aldahondo was so pleased with Sadie's progress she suggested not doing the injections that time and we agreed! She thought we were going to be upset that she wasn't going to do them, but in fact we were very pleased. We were pleased that Dr. Aldahondo took the time to  explain the reasoning why and the effects it could have on Sadie just learning to walk.

We have another appointment in January to check Sadie's progress and we will determine if botulinum toxin injections are needed at that time. Sadie is a very active child and she tries to do everything her older siblings do. She is starting to run and even though she stumbles and falls quite a bit, she gets right back up and runs more. She is a determined little girl—a fighter!  We have been so grateful for the wonderful care that our little girl has received from Gillette.

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