Doctors work to help a four-year-old with a life-shortening condition which prevents him from standing straight, and to cure a young woman with a severe form of Tourette Syndrome.
Four-year-old Adrian Keller is a toddler with a seemingly insurmountable infirmity: He has Vater’s Association or Syndrome, which is a life-shortening condition. He has five fused ribs on his left rib cage, which creates a large sized bump on his left chest. His left side is different from his right. The condition has forced his spinal cord to curve to accommodate his fused rib cage, leaving his head always tilted and his back shaped like a question mark.
His family lives from paycheck to paycheck in a small apartment in Chula Vista, CA. Both his parents work and have some medical insurance, but the family is struggling to afford the co-payments necessary to provide the little boy with the help he needs. Through “Miracle Workers,” Adrian may just get that chance -- a cutting edge surgery involving a titanium rod. This recently approved, rarely performed surgery would implant an expandable prosthesis made of titanium in a vertical position, attached to an upper and lower rib. If the procedure is successful, he might just have the chance to stand tall.
Emily Bresler is a bright and outgoing 19-year-old in Poway, CA. She suffers from a severe form of Tourette Syndrome. Her symptoms are severe physical and verbal tics, which make everyday activities such as eating, putting on makeup or reading almost impossible.
Tourette Syndrome has left Emily extremely dependent on her mother and father for support. She dreams of being able to drive a car, going to college and gaining independence. A new procedure for Tourette Syndrome patients, Deep Brain Stimulation, may be her only chance at achieving her dreams. A medical device that delivers electrical stimulation is inserted into her brain and connected to microcomputers that are placed in the back. This surgery, if successful, could be Emily’s only chance at living a normal and fulfilling life.
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