ry=480When I met my colleague, Lindsay, she was pregnant with Baby Girl Number Two.  But it was apparent Baby Girl Number One, Addison, was someone special.  Lindsay’s office was covered with beautiful, professional photos and fun snapshots.  It was a treat to see the cute, smiling blond in the middle of the workday.

You’d never know by looking at the photos or hearing of Addison’s two-year-old antics that God had made her very special.

Lindsay says nothing was out of the ordinary during her entire pregnancy. Week by week, baby grew and developed, with each sonogram showing an active and healthy baby. Lindsay says both she and husband, Nathan, were so excited for their new journey into parenthood to begin. “Baby Addison was born on March 15, 2013 at Memorial Medical Center at 8:05 a.m. weighing 7 lbs. 5 oz. She was beautiful and perfect. But after placing her on my chest, the doctor and nurses seemed concerned. They took Addison over to the heat lamp and noticed her left hand was not fully developed. The hand appeared to have a fist and a thumb, but the rest of her fingers didn’t grow.”

Lindsay says that once Addison was around eight weeks old, they visited the pediatrician for the first time; she began the conversation about Addison’s left hand. “The doctor wasn’t sure how this happened, but she was determined to find out,” Lindsay says. “We had our pick of specialty doctors and hospitals, but knew exactly where we had to go, Shriners Hospital for Children®.

The Shriners are experts in pediatric orthopedics and just an hour and half away from home.  I called and spoke with the nicest receptionist and got Addie’s first appointment scheduled.  The drive to St. Louis was a quiet one.  We were nervous and uncertain. But once inside the front doors, we felt calm.

We were greeted with kind words and big smiles by two older men sitting behind a desk wearing their Shriner hats. Once Addison was called back, we were taken to three different rooms: x-ray, photography, and patient visit. Each nurse and staff person made us feel at home.”

After speaking with an orthopedic surgeon, Addison was diagnosed with Symbrachydactyly.  In Symbrachydactyly, the thumb and small finger can be larger than the middle fingers, forming a u-shaped pattern of the fingers. The orthopedic surgeon believes at around eight weeks in the womb, blood flow was interrupted.

Lindsay continues, “We spoke about the future and decided on a plan for Addison – visit with Shriners doctors every six months to a year and see how her hand grows. Talk of possible surgeries, treatments and therapies are on the horizon.”

Shriners International – a Masonic fraternity – founded Shriners Hospitals for Children as its official philanthropy in 1922. It’s now a world renowned health care system with 22 locations in three countries.

Today, Lindsay and Nathan remain connected with Shriners as they enjoy taking Addison and her little sister, Olivia, to the Ansar Shrine Circus to see smiles all around. The family appreciates everything the Shriners have done for their family and will do in the future.