Wall of Hope: Stories of Courage & Inspiration
In September 2018, Shyann Freitas was enjoying a fun afternoon with friends and family riding ATVs when the ATV she was riding in took a sharp turn and flipped on its side, crushing her legs. The Kauai teenager was 14 years old at the time.
“We rushed to the hospital for them to put my foot back together,” she recalls.
Shyann was transferred from Wilcox Medical Center to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, where Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. William Burkhalter evaluated Shyann’s condition and determined they had no choice but to amputate her foot.
There were honestly so many doctors, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists who gave me the best care and love ever. They are such good people.”
With what seemed like a devastating prognosis for the up-and-coming volleyball player, Shyann got through it with her parents by her side the entire time.
“My dad stayed with me the whole time I was in the hospital, and my mom would also come and visit all the time,” she recalls of her Kauai family’s presence while she was hospitalized on Oahu.
Shyann also recalls the unwavering support of the Kapiolani medical team, who not only helped her recover but also helped her thrive.
"There were honestly so many doctors, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists who gave me the best care and love ever. They are such good people."
Two doctors in particular stand out in Shyann’s mind for the role they played in her care. “Dr. Burkhalter did an amazing job. He was honest with me the whole step of the way and always explained to me the different procedures even though it made me sad.”
The other doctor was Pediatric Hospitalist Dr. Jessica Kosut, who was always attentive to Shyann. “She had so many patients and she always made time for me.”
A month after her accident, Shyann was discharged. “When it was time for me to leave, I was so sad,” she says. “I cried because it felt like home there and it felt like I was leaving my family.”
Today, Shyann has made a great recovery and she now walks with a prosthetic. Determined to play volleyball, she continued her workouts and made her school’s volleyball team. She continues to be a successful student athlete and is an inspiration to her teammates, coaches, family and community.
Published on: December 8, 2020