Addison Nejes is living life in a normal way after surgery for scoliosis at HSS. I did not think so two years ago. I started wearing a brace for scoliosis in sixth grade. I wore it eighteen hours a day for over a year. I did a special form of physical therapy every day. It was hard, but I was committed. It was even harder to hear the brace did not hold my curve and I needed surgery to help me later in life. I felt like I went all over seeing surgeons to decide between two different types of surgery. I decided on fusion at HSS with Dr. Widmann. My parents helped me with the decision, but I wanted to make the final choice because it was my back.
My mom said she stopped worrying when I went in for my operation. She knew I was in the best hands. I was determined to get fixed. Every time someone sneezed in school I would run away because I wanted to get my surgery over with!
The recovery from the surgery was months long. I have 18 screws and rods in my back. Before the surgery I rode horses and this summer I rode all day for a week in the mountains. The long road I had made me appreciate every minute on my horse for the week, Lil’ Willy.
I am also back to playing goalie on two field hockey teams. It is hard to believe that a year ago I was finding out I needed surgery and now I am playing almost every day. When I walk off of the field after every game I am still amazed I have come this far. I am definitely stronger in a lot of ways.
Everyone I met at HSS helped me get there. The time before surgery was difficult for me. Peyton Katz in Child Life took a lot of time to talk to me. I have a friend in her. The nurses were kind and funny. I still laugh at the jokes. The pre-op nurse had a lot of understanding. The nurses, doctors and staff all took great care of me for the five days I spent at HSS. I started physical therapy with Michelle Yang and did training with Chelsea Long, an exercise physiologist at HSS. They worked hard to motivate me. I am in better shape now than I was before the surgery.
Thanks to Dr. Widmann who fixed me for life and the whole team at HSS I am back to life instead of worrying about my back!