Follow-up from First Expansion

This has been an extremely busy two months for our family, so we apologize for failing to post after Miriam’s first expansion in June. The surgery went beautifully. Miriam was really comfortable with the routine of waking early and checking in at the hospital. Her dear friend Miss Emily (the Child Life specialist) arrived in time to talk with her and escort her into surgery (with a dress-up game on her iPad, of course). Dr. Nowlin, Miriam’s ENT, began the procedure by scoping her throat to check on the polyp in her vocal cords. Though she had been having hardly any symptoms, there was a small lump in the same place as seen in the previous endoscopies, and Dr. Nowlin removed it. Then Dr. Williams took over and expanded Miriam’s two VEPTRs. He was able to get good expansion within the rib-to-rib device, and was able to move the spine-to-rib device up so that there is no longer any tail sticking out. This left her back much smoother, with hardly any protrusion of the end of the device. You can see the expanded devices and the improved position of the long rod in the x-rays below.


Miriam’s recovery was very fast. She went home from the hospital that afternoon and was back to herself after only a few days. It was a big help that Abeea and Papatoes, her grandparents, came to visit and take care of us. The adjustment of the spinal rod position has made a world of difference in her comfort level with the device. She used to complain of pain anytime she sat in a hard-backed chair or her car seat for more than a few minutes, and that no longer seems to bother her. Dr. Williams also got very good muscle tissue to close over the incision site so the scar is much more solid than last time.

We were very grateful for her quick recovery because shortly after surgery we made a huge life change for our family. We moved into our first real house! Until just a few weeks ago the five of us (and our dog) were living in a tiny two-bedroom apartment. All three girls were crammed into one bedroom, which was sometimes a challenge during Miriam’s recovery from her initial surgery. Now we have four bedrooms, with one currently in use as a playroom. If there are times in the future when Miriam needs privacy and quiet during a recovery, we can arrange it so she has her own room.

One of the best features of the house is the swing-set left by the previous owners. Miriam and her sisters love having a yard, especially with swings. Here they are playing with Papteaux just a week after the expansion.


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  1. Lisa Cimino says:

    Such wonderful news. God bless you all in your new home!

  2. Dawn Erina says:

    Oh Becky, Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!!! I am so thrilled to hear of all of the positive life events for your family. Please continue to share your love and light for the rest of us to bask in.
    Much love, Dawn Miller Erina

  3. Julie Richards says:

    So happy to hear of your recent blessings! The angels have been working overtime and I’m sure God is smiling!

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