Kimberly was 14 years old when she started noticing an unevenness of her shoulders and rib cage, as well as the shortening of her torso. Her whole upper body was beginning to look disfigured, so her pediatrician referred her to the Orthopedics Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
When I was 14 years old, my parents and I started noticing an unevenness of my shoulders and rib cage, as well as the shortening of my torso. Generally, my whole upper body was beginning to look disfigured just out of the blue. Eventually I decided it was time to get the problem checked out, so my pediatrician referred me to the Orthopedics Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. There, I met with Doctor Asghar who diagnosed me with scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. When I received my x-rays, I was shocked to see that my spine had formed the shape of an “S”. It was a condition I never knew existed, let alone something that I would be affected by.
For about a year, I had to wear a clunky back brace for most of the day to prevent the degree of my curve from worsening, but unfortunately, I was later told that a spinal fusion surgery would have to be considered because my brace had failed to prevent the curve from progressing. The operation was definitely not something I was looking forward to, but I finally convinced myself that I was in great hands with exceptional doctors and nurses at the hospital, and I was thrilled to get a new and improved, straight spine!
Two rods and twenty-four screws later, I’m able to run, do yoga, play sports…basically anything you can imagine. I’m a totally normal 17 year old, with the exception of having a metallic spine! My recovery exceeded my doctor’s and my expectations, and I couldn’t be happier with the results of my surgery. I’m incredibly thankful to Doctor Asghar, his team, and all the nurses in unit 2 East. And because I had such an amazing experience at Nicklaus Children’s, I decided to come back and become a volunteer. I’ve been volunteering for the past 10 months and this summer I eagerly volunteer about seven hours a week and enjoy every minute of it! I’m very grateful to the staff in the Volunteer Resources Office for giving me the opportunity to give back to the hospital.
- Kimberly Harmount