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Olivia

Olivia

When Olivia began to learn to walk she walked on her tip-toes without putting her heels on the ground. Olivia’s family doctor suggested she be taken to see a neurologist. He suspected cerebral palsy and at age 2, Olivia was taken to Shriners Hospitals for Children where the diagnosis was confirmed. Her specific diagnosis was spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which causes stiffness and tightness in both legs.

Olivia’s doctors at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville tried several treatment options, including casting, stretching and Botox treatments. As time progressed, more movement and ability problems developed — she could not walk with her feet flat on the floor or stand still. Her condition prevented her from being able to enjoy age-appropriate activities.

She received a gait analysis in the facility’s motion analysis center, which provided detailed data on her walking pattern and assisted her medical team in determining the best course of treatment.

“The motion lab was pivotal in her treatment,” said Olivia’s mother. “The staff is amazing and Olivia just loved looking like a robot!”

After reviewing the data from Olivia’s analysis, her medical team recommended surgery to lengthen her heel cords and hamstrings.

With the surgery a success and rehabilitative therapy, Olivia, now 10 years old, has a perfect walking gait and can run, dance, jump on a trampoline, ride a bicycle and keep up with her peers. She says her favorite part about being able to walk with flat feet is the shoes she gets to wear.

“Before surgery I could not wear normal shoes,” Olivia says. “But now, I’m a shoe shopaholic!”

Olivia, was chosen as a 2013 national ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children because of her unique story of strength and courage. She spent the year traveling across the country, speaking at events and helping to raise awareness about Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Meet some of our other special patients.