Re: Masonic Shriners Pedophile Pigs
VALDOSTA — VALDOSTA — With ponytails swinging and hips swaying, the pint-size 5-year-old in green butterfly sunglasses and St. Pat’s Day shirt enjoys a game of hula hoops on the Wii. But the game is more than just fun for Alexis Paterson: It’s helping her with her balance following surgery to correct her clubfoot.
Thanks to the generosity of Shriners, including those of the Valdosta Shrine Club, surgery was performed about 1 1/2 years ago at the Shriners Hospital in Tampa, Fla., to straighten her foot so she could walk flat instead of on the side of her foot.
Members of the Valdosta Shrine Club, a part of the Hasan Shrine in Albany, are at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Azalea City Festival today collecting money so that other children with orthopedic problems like “Lexie” and those with burns can get life-changing and, in many cases, life-saving medical help.
“Every penny will go will go to the Shriners Hospitals,” said Alan Davis, a director of the Valdosta Shriner Club.
Those with children 18 and under needing help may call Valdosta Shrine Club President Keith Stewart at 251-0339 or Shrine Hospitals at 1-800-237-5055.
Lexie’s problem was discovered when her mom, Amanda Paterson, was five months pregnant, carrying Lexie and her twin brother, Ayden. (The twins have an older sister, Alley, 7.) The twins’ dad, Anthony, and their mom were both in the Navy, stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Oak Harbor, Wash.
Anthony, who had a cleft palate, wanted to learn if his twins also had the birth defect. Instead, the physician discovered Lexie had positional club foot, which meant she didn’t have enough room in the womb for her foot to grow properly.
“When she was born, the side of her foot touched her inner ankle,” Amanda said in an interview Wednesday afternoon at the home of her husband’s parents, Patty and Chris Knupp, near Clyattville, where they now live until she and Anthony finish their schooling at Valdosta State University, she in psychology and Anthony in pre-electrical engineering.
The twins were delivered prematurely at 34 weeks on Sept. 28, 2004. Amanda had been airlifted to the University of Washington in Seattle for their births. A physician from Seattle Children’s Hospital came over to check Lexie. When she was released from the hospital at 1 week old, she was referred to a physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, who started the Ponseti treatment, a method of stretching the foot and casting it to the groin at an almost 90 degree angle until it is in the proper position.
Amanda said a new cast was put on every week.
“She was 4 pounds, 11 ounces at birth, and the cast weighed half as much as she did. The doctor would manipulate the foot as far as he could to get it to go in the proper position. The cast was almost to her diaper line, and the leg was bent and the foot turned out.”
Lexie handled the manipulations like a trooper.
“Even at a week old, they said Lexie was the quietest baby they ever had.”
Lexie’s first surgery was heel cord lengthening.
“When we arrived in Valdosta (when the twins were 6 months old), the orthopedic surgeon called it a perfect correction,” Amanda said. “Her feet were flat at that point.
But it didn’t last.
“At 1 year old, she could stand, take a step and trip,” Amanda said. “Her foot began turning back to where it had begun. They started talking surgery, and I got scared.”
Anthony’s great-aunt, Doris VanArsdale, and her husband, the late Roy VanArsdale, a Shriner, of South Bend, Ind., told them to contact the Shriners.
The Patersons got an application off the Internet for an appointment with the Shriners Hospital in Tampa. Physicians there said Lexie was too young for the surgery that was being suggested in Valdosta.
“They let Lexie do everything in her time.”
Shriners physicians did the Ponseti procedure.
“They always made her comfortable where she wouldn’t mind the procedure,” Amanda said.
“Almost two years ago, she had the full-blown surgery to do a tendon transfer to make her foot balanced. Then they did the second heel cord lengthening. They have a program where they have dolls to show them this is where the IV will go and what they were going to do.
“(After surgery) they encourage them to get up and get dressed and eat in the cafeteria and interact with the other patients, which I think speeds up recovery. They made sure her pain was manageable.”
After eight weeks in a cast, it was removed.
“Every since then, she’s running; she’s learned how to jump,” Amanda said of her child, now in pre-K at Clyattville Elementary. “Her foot will always look different, but she’s back to a functional state. She is pretty much where her brother is.
“Kristi Yamaguchi was born with a clubfoot. If she could be an Olympic medal ice skater, then Lexie can do anything. The sky’s the limit.”
Lexie’s family did not have to bear the burden of the medical treatment and surgery at Shriners Hospital.
“There’s been no cost to our family at all,” Amanda said. “It’s been a godsend.
“If there is a family that can’t drive there (to Tampa), the Shriners will take them there,” she added.
“I really want the community to understand what the Shriners do. They’re not just men who wear funny hats. It’s men who give their lives to give children an opportunity in life. They’ll give anything for the children. You can’t thank someone enough ...”