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With two impossibly deep dimples framing an impish grin that reveals two missing front teeth, 6-year-old Ke’Asia looks every bit the princess she aspires to be one day. The diminutive young lady who adores all things pink is presently passing the time before her follow-up appointment at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville by challenging her mother Angela to a one-sided game of find-me-if-you-can. Ke’Asia delights in playing just out of her mother’s line of vision as if to assert a princess’s right to independence. Her mother, wise to Ke’Asia antics, just keeps a low key watch on the area where her daughter disappears and will just as surely reappear once she tires of her game.

That budding independence – and confidence – will serve Ke’Asia well. In addition to being a princess in her own kingdom, Ke’Asia is also a person of short stature. Angela is as well. Ke’Asia tops the height chart at 37 inches; Angela is a few inches taller. Their similarities end there; however, and Angela has brought Ke’Asia to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville because she has been diagnosed with kyphosis, or what is commonly described as a “hunchback” appearance. 

Ke’Asia’s vertebrae are not shaped correctly, resulting in a kyphotic curve that, unless treated will eventually result in a “hunchback” appearance. She began wearing a body brace two years ago for 24 hours a day. A year later, the kyphosis was corrected though Ke’Asia continues to wear the brace as much as possible to prevent regression. Today, Angela’s report from Ke’Asia’s physician Peter Stasikeles, M.D., is all good news. Ke’Asia will need to be monitored closely and return to the hospital periodically for evaluation, but her spine is no longer curving and she will soon be out of a brace completely.

“I’m thankful for that,” notes Angela, watching as Ke’Asia once again wanders out of sight just past a large plant. “I can’t thank Dr. Pete and Shriners Hospital enough for the care Ke’Asia received here. It changed her life.”

No one can promise what the future will hold but this little princess is well on her way to living happily ever after.

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