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news News Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Wednesday, March 11, 2020 1:56 PM - Wednesday, March 11, 2020 1:56 PM

Ten-year-old patient needs no modifications

Ten-year-old patient needs no modifications

Sebastian, born premature, sustained his first fracture when he was a couple of weeks old. His mother did not know it yet, but Gayle Tyerman, M.D., a pediatrician at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles (now Shriners for Children Medical Center — Pasadena), would shortly become Sebastian’s pediatrician.

After admitting Sebastian into the neonatal intensive care unit at Loma Linda University Medical Center for blood work to find out what type of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) he had, he sustained a fracture. A pediatrician examined Sebastian. After the evaluation he spoke with Evelia, Sebastian's mother, who suggested he consult with another physician who specialized in OI. The pediatrician at Loma Linda called Dr. Tyerman at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles, who was heavily involved with the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. She advised the pediatrician at Loma Linda University Medical Center to administer a specifically licensed drug for the treatment of OI to help Sebastian.

The blood work results showed that Sebastian had osteogenesis imperfecta type III. Evelia had many questions and needed answers. She researched OI and learned about a few hospitals in California that treated kids like Sebastian, but she wanted to know specifics. She was looking for the number of patients cared for per year, and to see if the doctors on staff took a specific interest in this condition. After a few days, she found a hospital that treated kids with OI and specialized in this condition: Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles.

“Sure, I could have taken my son to a five-star hospital, but I wasn’t looking for luxury. What I was looking for was a facility that truly had experience in treating this condition. When I searched to see exactly what hospital treated the most patients with my son’s condition, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles came up on the search, and so did Dr. Gayle Tyerman. After the first appointment, I never looked back,” said Evelia.

Now Sebastian is 10, and his mom places no limits on this energetic kid. Evelia spoke about his school and how it took Sebastian’s teachers a while to get used to treating him like any other student. “I don’t let them modify anything for him. He plays, runs, jumps, and participates in anything and everything. I do not let his condition get in the way. Sebastian is also the one pushing to be independent. He is the rock star here.”

Sebastian’s sayings are “fear nothing” and “born for fast.” Sebastian is an avid car enthusiast. He loves going fast and loves the sound that fast cars make. Through his love of cars, he has been lucky enough to meet great philanthropists who have taken an interest in Sebastian’s passion for giving and helping kids and families. Sebastian’s family found the resources needed to help him live with his condition. His mother and father are extremely grateful, and have instilled a pay-it-forward attitude in him. Now 10, Sebastian has organized two car rallys to collect toys, coloring books and school supplies for the medical center's patients and families. He continues to receive treatment and has his routine follow-up appointments with pediatrician Manu S. Raam, M.D., and orthopaedic surgeon Selina Poon, M.D., MPH, MS, at Shriners for Children Medical Center.

"This philanthropy is more than just helping kids live a better life. It is a stepping stone for people like Sebastian to help others, be kind and give when possible to those in need," said Evelia.

Sebastian as a baby