After making the 3,000 mile journey across to Philadelphia in the United States for an urgent hospital appointment only four days before Christmas, a three-year-old girl with a potentially life-threatening condition was delighted to make it back home to Dromore with some good news – and in time for Santa’s arrival!
Little Maisie McQuaid, who attends Dromore Community Playgroup, travelled to Shriners Hospital, Philadelphia, for her third meeting with her consultant on Friday past. Maisie was diagnosed with idiopathic infantile scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine, shortly after her second birthday in August 2017. The condition affects children before the age of three and is characterised by the presence of an abnormal curve of the spine to the right or the left. If left untreated, the condition can be life-threatening, as the spinal deformity can cause serious problems with heart and lung function.
Maisie had her first appointment in Shriners Hospital - which specialises in treating children with scoliosis - in August this year, and her most recent visit provided good news for the youngster and her family just in time for Christmas.
"The appointment went well and we are delighted to learn that the curvature has been reduced to 45 degrees - 10 degrees down since beginning this journey on August 9," said her mother, Geraldine, who travelled with her husband, Aidan, but had to leave their other four children at home.
"It's all a part of the process and we are really pleased with her progress. It's a great start and the doctor is hopeful we may not have to go back to the US for 10 weeks. It is going to be a long road, but thankfully it will be the right one."
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution...