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news News Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Tuesday, January 9, 2018 11:16 AM - Tuesday, January 9, 2018 11:16 AM

Prosthesis helps to prepare toddler for his future

A former patient connects family in need to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia

Prosthesis helps to prepare toddler for his future

Jonathan was born missing his right forearm and hand due to an infection caused by twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Although Jonathan’s parents, Fabiana and Jonathan Sr., knew they were having identical twin boys, none of their prenatal sonograms had detected the abnormality.

Fabiana became aware of the care provided by Shriners Hospitals for Children from television spots she had seen and by her co-workers' introduction to the Cardaci family. Frank Cardaci was a former patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children and had also been born missing a forearm and hand. Through this meeting, Fabiana and Jonathan Sr. learned how Frank's care at Shriners Hospital helped him prosper and live a very self-sufficient life. Inspired, they decided to bring Jonathan to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia to see what the options were for their son.

Scott Kozin, M.D., first met Jonathan when Jonathan was 6 months old. At that time, it was advised that it would be best to wait until Jonathan was a little older before determining whether to fit him for a prosthetic hand.

At age 15 months, Jonathan's early intervention therapist noticed that he was starting to have a few issues with things such as balance. This led to the suggestion of starting to introduce Jonathan to a prosthetic hand.

“I am so glad we waited,” said Fabiana. “Dr. Kozin explained that introducing Jonathan to a passive, non-functioning limb [prosthesis] at a younger age would help him get used to the idea [of using a prosthetic limb], and then when he was a little older, he could begin to train with a more functional prosthesis that could assist with grasping or pointing at things. We understood what we should do for Jonathan and let him do the rest.”

Although Jonathan is missing part of his right arm and hand, it hasn’t slowed down his playtime with toys and his twin brother. As he continues to grow, his parents continue to explore the best options for his future.

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