Patient of the Month: Fabricio

Published on: 03/31/2023

Fabricio was born prematurely at 32 weeks. He was intubated for the first three days of his life, and spent 21 days in the ICU at a hospital in Colombia.

A few months later, Fabricio’s family began to notice that he was very weak at the core, especially while trying to sit on his own. Beginning to grow concerned, his grandmother started seeking options, and some would just say that Fabricio was experiencing motor delays.

It wasn’t until a year later that Fabricio’s family learned that what he had was not a motor delay. It was spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, meaning that his lower extremities were more involved than his upper extremities.

Fabricio had severe contractures of his knees, which prohibited him from extending his legs and walking straight. His condition was progressing, and he needed help right away.

Dr. Monica Payares-Lizano, pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Spine Institute and director of the Cerebral Palsy and Spasticity Program visited Cartagena, Colombia on a mission trip, where she met Fabricio. Immediately she knew that she and her team could address Fabricio’s problem and improve his quality of life.

A couple months later, Fabricio arrived to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami where he underwent surgery to correct his anomaly. Once his bones healed properly from the surgery, he was able to begin sessions of physical therapy to work on weight-bearing, standing straight and walking!

With the help of a multidisciplinary team, Fabricio was able to go back to his hometown of Galerazamba where he was eagerly greeted by friends and family – all celebrating a new beginning for Fabricio. A life of mobility and more independence!

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