At Shriners Hospitals for Children, the health and safety of our patients, families, volunteers and staff is our top priority. With the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we are closely monitoring updates from local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and are actively following their recommendations.

If your child has an upcoming appointment, please contact your local Shriners Hospitals for Children location.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia visitor information.

Skip to navigation

What we're up to

news News Thursday, April 30, 2020 Thursday, April 30, 2020 5:23 PM - Thursday, April 30, 2020 5:23 PM

Meet our Patient Ambassador, Aneshka

Meet our Patient Ambassador, Aneshka

Meet our Patient Ambassador, Aneshka. Before she graduated from college with an education degree and began working in the education field, she spent many years at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia. She recently shared her story with us.

I first came to Shriners Hospital when I was a year old, a few months after I arrived in America. I was born with both of my hands and both of my feet deformed from amniotic band syndrome. When my parents were adopting me, the adoption agency told them that there was a hospital called Shriners Hospital in Erie that helped kids just like me. The agency put them in touch with a doctor at the hospital, who assured them that, “We see things like this all the time; it’s no problem. We can evaluate her and do whatever is needed.” It turned out there was another Shriners Hospital closer, in Philadelphia. They also had a specialty in orthopaedics and were able to do whatever was needed to support me. I grew up going to Shriners Philly regularly.

When I was younger, appointments at Shriners Hospital were day trips. I was able to leave school to take the two-hour trip to Philadelphia with one of my parents, play with toys in the waiting room, and step in foam boxes to get fitted for new orthotic inserts. Sometimes we would even take a detour to King of Prussia Mall on the way home to buy new shoes that I could wear with my new inserts. At some appointments, we would go to see Dr. Davidson, “the foot doctor,” and at other appointments, we would see Dr. Kozin, “the hand doctor.”

As I grew up, the deformities in my feet began to affect my walking, so that I was in pain from walking or standing. By the time I was 17, Dr. Davidson had told us that it was time for me to have surgery so that I would be able to walk with a better gait, without pain. Before my surgery, the physical therapists at Shriners [Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia] taught me how to use a set of crutches that were designed for someone with one hand. As I healed from the surgery, the cast was replaced by a second cast, and then by a walking boot. I went to physical therapy and eventually was able to walk without pain for the first time in years.

As I grew up, I grew to have more appreciation for everything that Shriners Hospitals for Children had done for me over the years. The care team was always very helpful and supportive, whether they were fitting my new orthotic inserts or helping me practice using crutches so I would be ready to use them after my surgery. Crutch practice helped me feel less nervous about my surgery, and picking out cast colors even made the experience fun.

I have become more interested in how the hospital helps kids. I’m happy to be an ambassador and share my story. This fall, I am very excited to participate in my first Shriners Walk for LOVE!

We’re so thankful to have both past and present patients share what a difference our hospital has done for them. In her spare time, Aneshka also enjoys trying new baking recipes, reading and practicing yoga.