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news News Wednesday, September 2, 2020 Wednesday, September 2, 2020 5:10 PM - Wednesday, September 2, 2020 5:10 PM

Mickey and Jose bond over shared condition and treatment

Mickey and Jose bond over shared condition and treatment

When Mickey and Jose met, they instantly became best friends. The two 5-year-olds have quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Their excited laughs carry through the halls at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston. They play, they laugh and even argue like old friends. They have become each other’s motivation to push through their rehabilitation treatment. Both were admitted to the inpatient rehabilitation unit on the same day after having selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery.

“We have never met anyone with his exact type of CP, and even uses the same wheelchair,” Mickey’s mother, Sherrie, said. “From the very first night he kept saying Jose was his new best friend, and I think that has been a great motivation for him, they are so similar in spirit.”

Jose had his first evaluation at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston this year, but Mickey has been a long-time patient. Sherrie said she was impressed with the multidisciplinary care on the first encounter, which included evaluations from a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, an orthopaedic surgeon, and a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor. He was also provided with ankle-foot braces, a wheelchair and a walker at the Houston Shriners Hospital.

“We could not have gone with better providers,” Sherrie said. “They have been assessing his condition and explained the entire process to me. I have never seen anything so structured for such a demanding purpose.”

Both Mickey and Jose received physical, occupational and recreational therapies as part of their rehabilitation treatment. They also received psychological services to help them cope with being away from home, as well as school services. Long hours of therapies can be challenging for kids, but Jose and Mickey’s newfound friendship significantly changed their inpatient experience. Jose’s mother, Maria, said it was comforting to connect with a family that shares the same challenges and experiences.

“When you have a child with specific physical needs, sometimes other kids will unintentionally treat them differently. But for them, this has been their life, for them this is their normal. They connected immediately and it has just been so beautiful to watch,” Jose’s mother, Maria, said.