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news News Friday, November 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:14 PM - Friday, November 16, 2018 12:14 PM

For lifelong patient, determination comes with a grin

For lifelong patient, determination comes with a grin

To those familiar with Connor Huffman, there exists several traits that are memorable to this young man’s personality: a mischievous grin, a desire to help others feel good about themselves and rarely being found without his trademark baseball caps. Connor is also a fraternal twin to sister Kaitlyn, who, by several minutes, is his older sister – not that she would ever let him forget it.

“She is definitely mother hen – she’s always wanted to take care of him,” mother Denise recalled. “And he’s very independent and wants to do everything on his own. But when they were little, a lot of times he would watch her and it was like ‘she can do it, so why am I not able to?’ or ‘she’s healthy, and I’m not.’”

Born nine minutes after Kaitlyn, complications during their premature delivery resulted in Connor receiving insufficient oxygen for an extended period of time. When Connor was 6 months old, he began exhibiting restricted mobility in his legs and feet, intoeing and vision issues. The Jonesville, Louisiana family promptly sought care at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Shreveport.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, staff members at the Shreveport Shriners Hospital began fitting Connor with a series of casts and orthotic devices. Over the course of 15 years, Connor has undergone a number of surgeries designed to help rotate his leg bones, and release the tension within muscles and tendons in his legs and feet. This past summer, Connor underwent a lengthening of his calf muscles, and will continue to be monitored by his Shreveport Shriners Hospital medical team. Denise notes that throughout his lifetime of medical treatments, Connor has developed and maintains a steadfast sense of determination.

“Connor has overcome anything that’s ever been put in front of him,” she said. “He might have to figure out a new way to do it, but he does it. And we’ve never told him he couldn’t accomplish something.”

These days, Connor can usually be found fishing off the banks of his grandparents’ home on Black River Lake, or working to get his truck in good order. A notorious kidder, he remains particularly adept at antagonizing Kaitlyn. The 16-year-old duo currently share several classes together at Harrisonburg High School, with both looking excitedly toward bright futures.

Connor receiving treatment