Jabarry, 15, has always dreamed of playing soccer and basketball, but these activities were not possible for him due to his muscular limitations associated with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects the ability to move and maintain balance.
Through the years, his muscles became tighter and required the use of walkers and wheelchairs to move. Although he always has a positive demeanor and an infectious smile, his one wish is to do things children of his age do; spend time outdoors and play sports.
“Our number one goal is to improve the quality of life for our patients and help them achieve things that were otherwise not possible,” says Dr. Monica Payares, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Nicklaus Children’s who provides surgical and orthopedic care for children of all ages with cerebral palsy.
Jabarry was a candidate for Single Event Multilevel Surgery (SEMLS), a surgical procedure that aims to correct many of these issues in one to two surgeries. Patients who are candidates for SEMLS undergo fewer procedures and shorter rehabilitation. The surgery provides patients with improvement in mobility, improved walking ability, and reduced pain over time.
“A part of our multidisciplinary approach to care, we worked with Jabarry through various steps to help him reach his full potential. We started with an evaluation with our therapy teams, he was fitted for new orthotics, and he underwent conservative treatments that included serial casting and Botox injections. Jabarry worked hard until it was time to pursue surgical procedures that included triple arthrodesis and soft tissues releases to give him more stability while standing. He was an excellent candidate for the SEMLS procedure,” said Dr. Payares.
The surgery was a success. After several months of rehabilitation to help him stand, Jabarry is taking steps and gaining strength. He has even had the opportunity to kick a soccer ball and score a goal.
“Jabarry is such a fantastic kid; he has such positive energy and demeanor. I knew we could help him. He is a prime example of how we can improve the quality of life of children with Cerebral Palsy and allow them to achieve their goals. His recovery has been remarkable, and I am honored to be part of his journey. We cannot wait to see what he will do next,” said Dr. Payares.