Richie Racoon Swimming
Madeline Harris

Madeline HarrisWhen Madeline Harris went to her well-child check up at the end of 4th grade, her pediatrician, Nada Hamzy M.D. noticed an irregularity in Madeline's spine and, after monitoring her for several months, recommended that she be screened for scoliosis. The X-rays confirmed that Madeline had scoliosis. Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Mark D. Locke M.D. prescribed a brace designed to correct the spine's curvature.

For the next three years, Madeline wore the brace up to 16 hours a day. Madeline became a cheerleader at Cardinal Newman and continued to wear the brace while cheering. Despite wearing the brace, the curve in her spine had progressed to 28 degrees by February 2008 and progressed to 35 degrees by summertime.

Dr. Locke recommended spinal fusion surgery at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital. The eight-hour surgery was done Aug. 12 by Children's Hospital's expert in minimally-invasive surgeries, Juan I. Camps M.D. and by Dr. Locke. Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is a national leader in thorascopic scoliosis surgery," says Dr. Locke.

"They let us know what to expect and they kept us informed throughout the surgery. We were very comfortable and felt that everyone we encountered at Children's Hospital really went the extra mile for Madeline," says Madeline's mother, Kim Harris.

The surgery corrected the curvature to a normal eight degrees. "We were able to go in between the ribs thoracically and made three small incisions," says Dr. Camps. "While complete recovery is much faster and is cosmetically more acceptable than the traditional longer incision in the back, total healing of the fusion is expected to take the same length of time, about 9–12 months."