Wall of Hope: Stories of Courage & Inspiration
As a competitive cheerleader, it’s important to be at the top of your game. You have to be able to jump, stunt and flip your way through high-energy routines. So what happens if all of a sudden you are diagnosed with a potentially disabling condition?
“The quality of care as well as the emotional support from the doctors and nurses made the experience a more positive one,”
This is the situation in which 13-year-old Sydney Fabric found herself in 2020. She was diagnosed with a severe case of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which is an abnormal curvature of the spine that appears in late childhood or adolescence.
Knowing that Sydney was a competitive cheerleader, doctors at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children determined she was an ideal candidate for vertebral body tethering (VBT), a new minimally-invasive procedure to treat scoliosis that maximizes spinal motion.
Sydney underwent the procedure on August 10, 2020, and was discharged just five days later on her 14th birthday. Four days after that, she attended her first day of freshman year in high school virtually.
“The quality of care as well as the emotional support from the doctors and nurses made the experience a more positive one,” says Sydney. “All of the staff members who assisted me with my recovery were very understanding, caring and reliable. My mom also helped me out a lot once I got home.”
“Being willing to undergo a new procedure takes a lot of courage,” says Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Graham Fedorak. “Sydney was only the second patient in Hawaii to undergo VBT. She made a quick recovery and is doing really well.”
Less than a year later, Sydney is back to where she was physically and continues to cheer competitively with no back pain whatsoever. She is able to bend her back to its fullest potential, do back-handsprings on the floor and complete tucks on the trampoline just like before.
Reflecting on the recovery process, Sydney has the following advice, “I would want other patients facing a similar situation to understand that they should keep an open mind and take it day by day. They should stay positive and not be afraid to ask any questions. The better understanding of the process you have, the easier it will be mentally.”
Published on: October 17, 2021