Success Stories - A "Two for One" Success!
My name is Levi Halliwell. I am seven years old. I had hemiplegia. That means I have a boo-boo in my brain. It affects my right hand so I can't do stuff as well as with my left hand, but I'm trying to do more as I get older. My parents took me to see Dr. Michelle Carlson at HSS. One thing hurt (a shot to make me sleep) and then I had a cast on my right hand for a month and then a brace for a month. Then I was so excited to have my hand free. Now my flexibility is better and I assume that all of it will build back up. Now I am working on other stuff that I have to do to be able to do what I want.
My name is Steve Halliwell. I am Levi's grandpa, and 71 years old. Levi and I enjoy playing soccer in the back yard. This winter, I ruptured the anterior tibial tendon in my right foot while hiking in heavy snow. As Levi's parents were deciding to move ahead at HSS with a tendon transfer in Levi's right wrist and hand, I suddenly needed to get the rupture fixed. This injury is very rare -- a good friend and head of orthopedics at a major Boston hospital suggested I see Dr. David Levine in the foot and ankle department at HSS.
Before our operations, Levi had a good idea. I had one foot that worked, and Levi had one good hand. Levi said "We can glue ourselves together. I can do the walking, and you can pick things up." I had surgery in late April, and Dr. Levine replaced the broken tendon with one from my hamstring. Levi had his operation a week later.
My new tendon is moving normally, and I am regaining strength in my foot. And now Levi has two good hands -- his right hand is open and capable of a much broader range of motion. We do our exercises together (as Levi says, "sometimes we struggle through it"), we talk about how our limbs feel, and how we can do new things each day. We both had a great experience at HSS, and we hope to be fully back in the game (the soccer game) in a few months.