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news News Monday, June 22, 2020 Monday, June 29, 2020 11:40 PM - Monday, June 29, 2020 11:40 PM

Patient gives back to the hospital he loves

Patient gives back to the hospital he loves

When 9-year-old Boston received a $300 inheritance after the recent passing of his great-grandmother, his parents told him he could spend the money any way he liked. Boston wasn’t sure where to spend the money, telling his parents, “I have plenty of toys and games.” He thought for a moment, then asked if he could give the money to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Trusted care team

Boston’s older sister sought treatment for skeletal dysplasia at Shriners Hospitals after a member of Shriners International, the fraternity that founded and continues to support the health care system, let the family know how the hospital could help. Twelve years later when Boston was born with club feet, his parents didn’t hesitate to bring him to the same hospital they had grown to love.

His first appointment at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City was seven days after he was born. Boston’s mom, Malinda, remembers meeting Boston’s first physician, Theresa Hennessey, M.D., when treatment for his clubfeet began. “She has been his doctor ever since, and we love her,” Malinda said. “She has always made herself available anytime we have questions or concerns, even on her off-work hours when there have been concerns about Boston’s pain.”

As Boston grew, new symptoms developed and physicians determined he also had scoliosis and diastrophic dysplasia, which causes extreme stiffness and deformities. He has had dozens of surgeries and more than 50 castings. He also has had countless orthotics, mobility assistance, and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Dr. Hennessey says figuring out the correct treatment for Boston is a bit of a puzzle at times. Treatment has focused on customized braces and equipment to keep his legs straight as he grows. “I attribute Boston’s progress to his positive attitude and dauntless spirit,” Dr. Hennessey said. “He works hard.”

Helping other kids

On the drive to the hospital to drop off the inheritance check, Boston’s mom explained to him that Shriners Hospitals for Children is a nonprofit organization, and by donating his money, he would be helping other kids get the medical care they need. Boston teared up and told his mom, “I want every penny to go to Shriners Hospital so that other kids can be helped, like they have helped me.” Malinda has seen an unexpected benefit in her kids through their medical care. “Shriners Hospitals for Children has taught all my children the importance of charity. To give what you can, to assist where you can and to always have hope.”

Boston with Alec