“There’s a chance Madisyn won’t walk until she’s five years old,” was what Madisyn’s mother, Lindsey, was told when her daughter was 22 months old. After Madisyn turned nine months old, Lindsey began to notice something was wrong. Madisyn wasn’t hitting any of the typical milestones of a child that age. She wasn’t crawling, she wasn’t trying to pull herself onto things, nothing.
Madisyn was diagnosed with hypermobility, meaning she is double-jointed throughout her whole body, but that isn’t where Madisyn’s journey stops.
One moment that Lindsey remembers vividly was on a home visit from Madisyn’s physiotherapist when she was 22 months old. After doing regular assessments on her, Lindsey recalls the physiotherapist looking up and telling her, “It doesn’t look like Madisyn will walk until she is five, if that, probably longer.”
It wasn’t more than a week later that after an afternoon nap, Madisyn took her first steps. After crossing a milestone that their family didn’t believe would come for a very long time, Madisyn began to develop like every other child.
At Madisyn’s five-year check-up with her pediatrician, she noticed that Madisyn had something even more serious going on now. Madisyn has a major curve in her spine that looks like a backward “S”. Madisyn was diagnosed with scoliosis and her journey that she believed was reaching a conclusion was beginning all over again.
What this meant for Madisyn was wearing a back brace for 23 hours of the day. Imagine at five years old being confined to a piece of plastic and not having the ability to live life fully as a five-year-old. Madisyn had to watch as her classmates ran around the playground at school, only wishing she could join in.
It was in December of 2021 that Madisyn’s family received the x-rays that would change their lives significantly. The curves in Madisyn’s spine continued to get worse, now to the point where a spinal fusion was needed.
In June, Madisyn underwent a ten-hour spinal fusion surgery where she had two titanium rods and 20 screws inserted in her back. During surgery, Madisyn lost a massive amount of blood requiring her to undergo two blood transfusions, a platelet transfusion, and two bone grafts. After Madisyn’s surgery, she was brought to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on life support where she would spend the next four days before spending the next five days in the Pediatric Inpatients Unit.
“Our experience at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital was amazing. Starting off with her surgeon and surgical team to the Intensive Care Unit nurses and doctors and everyone on the Pediatric Inpatients Unit, I truly cannot thank them enough,” said Lindsey about their time at JPCH.
Madisyn is a fighter and has never complained about her condition. Now after correcting the curvature in her spine, Madisyn can do the things she loves again like camping, swimming, and singing only now without the pain she experienced before. When Madisyn grows up, she dreams of being a doctor so that she can help sick kids in Saskatchewan just like her.
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