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news News Monday, March 9, 2020 Friday, March 6, 2020 1:03 PM - Friday, March 6, 2020 1:03 PM

Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital patient with scoliosis has been waiting for this moment for a long time

Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital patient with scoliosis has been waiting for this moment for a long time

Kadence had a huge milestone recently. It’s not one that most children face, but it was incredibly meaningful.

Six years ago, Kadence had a rod surgically placed in her spine at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City. After years of casts, braces and a halo treatment for scoliosis she has had since birth, it was determined that a rod was the best course of action for straightening her spine.

For the past six years, her mom, Leanne, has watched as Kadence was left out of activities at family parties, preschool field trips, play dates, school incentives and birthday parties. “She doesn’t remember what it feels like to jump on a trampoline or go in a bounce house,” said Leanne. “She has had to be super-cautious when it comes to falling, and on the rare chance she did fall, it resulted in a trip to the ER for X-rays.”

Because of the rod in her spine, she was given strict instructions to limit her range of motion and the types of activities in which she could participate. Now 13, Kadence has done her best to follow the doctor’s orders, but when a happy kid wants to express herself, it can be hard to keep all that energy in. “Growing up, she has heard us get upset when she bends, twists or is too physical,” said Leanne. “But through it all she has stayed pretty happy. She has focused on all her body could do and has looked forward to her final rod surgery most of her life.”

The final rod-removal surgery and spinal fusion took place last year, and while Kadence was given clearance to start a modified version of bending again, she was given more restrictions as her body adjusted.

The big anticipated moment she was looking forward to was her six month post-op check-up at the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital. “She has looked forward to this for what feels like an eternity and it finally came,” Leanne said. “She knew she might not get to resume normal activities yet, and that it would depend on how well her fusion took, but she was excited and hopeful.”

After X-rays were taken and the family met with Michael A. Pond, PA-C, and Graham Fedorak, M.D., they were delighted to learn that Kadence was in the clear. Leanne told her Instagram followers, “Well folks, Kadence will officially be able to run, jump, pick up her baby sister, participate where she wants and fall without fear. SHE DID IT!”

A milestone like this is worth celebrating. Kadence, the oldest of three girls, is looking forward to having a big party this spring with all of her friends and family to celebrate. Most notably, there will be bounce houses and Kadence will be able to jump with everyone. She is also excited to go to Disneyland and ride all the rides. “I haven't ever been able to go on some of the bigger rides because I was too little, and then I wasn't able after my surgery,” said Kadence. “I've already noticed I'm a lot less nervous in public, especially the halls at school, because I don't have to worry about getting bumped. I'm so happy my final surgery is done and I'm so thankful for everyone at Shriners Hospital for helping me.”

Kadence before and after X-rayKadence with fatherKadence with physician