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news News Friday, June 26, 2020 Friday, June 26, 2020 1:24 PM - Friday, June 26, 2020 1:24 PM

Former ‘Shriners Kid’ credits hospital with cerebral palsy symptom-free adulthood

Former ‘Shriners Kid’ credits hospital with cerebral palsy symptom-free adulthood

She may be working on her master’s degree in business administration after graduating from college with honors, but 23-year-old Victoria will always be a “Shriners Kid.”

Suffering from a lack of oxygen in the womb at birth, Victoria was diagnosed as an infant with unilateral cerebral palsy – a permanent movement disorder that, for Victoria, only affected the right side of her body. Her symptoms included lack of muscle coordination and fine motor skills, muscle tightness, and difficulty walking, as well as challenges speaking and eating.

Victoria received extensive physical and occupational therapy to counter the symptoms, as well as medications to promote muscle flexibility and provide her with the best quality of movement.

While undergoing treatment, Victoria said her family was comforted by the knowledge that the services she received were offered regardless of her family’s ability to pay. This was of particular importance when her father lost his job and insurance at one point during her care.

Victoria says she never imagined her time as a child at the Greenville Shriners Hospital would present her with the long-term outcome that it did. Defying the odds, Victoria is now living her life almost completely symptom-free; a remarkable feat for a patient with cerebral palsy, and a gift she attributes to the quality of care she received. Her grandfather still acknowledges this priceless gift each month as a longtime donor to the hospital.

Victoria has now set ambitious career goals, including working as a strategic planner within the health care industry. However, regardless of her job, she knows she has other important work to do – bringing greater awareness to the cerebral palsy community.