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Giving your mom or dad a hug comes naturally for most children. But kids with brachial plexus palsy can wrap only one arm around their parent, leaving the other arm stuck between them.

Brachial plexus palsy is a condition affecting the movement and sensation of the arm and hand. Most children with this condition cannot extend their arm out to the side or reach up. Brachial plexus palsy occurs if a newborn’s nerves are stretched, compressed or torn during the birthing process.

That’s exactly what happened to Laila who began coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville at just 3 months of age.

“When Laila was born, the doctors told us she would have brachial plexus palsy,” says Laila’s mother. “Laila was completely unable to move her left arm.”

At 6 months of age, doctors injected Botox into Laila’s shoulder. With the treatment, she was able to move her arm to shoulder level. A significant improvement, but Laila still could not wrap both arms around her mother.

When she was almost 2, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dan Zlotolow, M.D., performed a tendon transfer on Laila’s shoulder. Following several weeks in a cast that kept her arm bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing straight up, Laila was able to begin occupational therapy and transition into a splint.

“She had only been out of a cast for two days and I couldn’t believe how much more range of motion she had in her shoulder,” Laila’s mother said.

Now, with almost a full range of motion, Laila is able to dress herself and fix her hair. She can also do her mother’s favorite thing – hug.

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