The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on April 23, 1986 · Page 14
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 14

Baytown, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 23, 1986
Page 14
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Page 14 article text (OCR)

t-B THE BAYTOWN SUN Wednesday, April 23, 19f* Family struggles for years to find diagnosis for child GROVES (AP) — Grown men do cry. Dell Williams can tell you. He's cried plenty. But so has his wife, Phyllis. For six years the Williams family struggled for an answer to this question: What is wrong with our daughter? Eight years ago their daughter, Delia, was born after a difficult pregnancy ended in what Mrs. Williams believed was an easy delivery. "I was so sick during my pregnancy, I thought I was going to die," she said. "I couldn't keep anything in my stomach. After my second month I was in the hospital because I was so dehydrated. I took iron shots all during the pregnancy." Doctors told Mrs. Williams they were keeping her new baby an additional week for observation because Delia was born under "severe stress." "No one ever said anything was wrong with Delia. All they said was she was born under severe stress. But when she got home, she couldn't keep her formula down," she says. Then began a six-year nightmare that robbed both parents of peaceful nights, fostered frustrations and slowly chipped away at their confidence in the medical profession. For the first year, Mrs. Williams says she spent her days rushing from one pharmacy to the next, hunting for some new, exotic formula her pediatrician advised would stop Delia's con- tinous vomiting. Williams adds: "We had her on 17 different formulas. From soybean, fresh milk, boiled milk to raw goat's milk. I mean this went on a year. And she cried all the time, too. We'd take her in to see a doctor, have him meet us at the emergency room and as soon as he picked her up, rubbed her stomach or just held her she'd stop crying and everybody would look at us like we were crazy." Mrs. Williams says, "1 knew something was wrong with Delia from the beginning. I laid her in her crib at night and she would lay in one spot all night. She didn't turn over until she was eight months. It was 18 months before she was walking." Williams says they took their daughter to Houston, Galveston and Jefferson County pediatri- cians, neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, speech and hearing specialists, bone specialists and optometrists each time failing to find an answer to their child's "real" problem. "We always feared we were going to lose her," Williams says, his eyes filling with tears. "No one could tell us what was wrong.'' The family continued their odyssey, and after nearly $30,000 for hospitals, physicians and specialists, and a pair of $500 plastic leg casts that an orthopedist said would correct a walking problem, they began to eliminate the possible physical causes, one by one. They discovered Delia had excessive fluid built up in her ears that prevented her from hearing. "When we found out she couldn't hear and that's why she wasn't trying to talk, 1 decided to have her eyes checked and we found out she needed glasses," Mrs. Williams says. "I kept telling them (doctors) something else was wrong with Delia. But they acted like nothing was wrong. Some said she was retarded. But they never did any tests to prove it. She was so delayed in things. She wasn't learning like other kids." she says. Delia now was approaching 4. and her problems began to take on other forms. "She'd throw temper tantrums. Bang her head against the walls, slam cabinets, doors, throw furniture, bite her arms, pull her hair out. We couldn't go anywhere with her," Mrs. Williams says. Mrs. Williams said one doctor prescribed tranquilizers for Delia's hyperactivity. "My daughter walked around with these glassy eyes but the pills didn't slow her down. He told me to increase the dosage. I decided to quit giving her the pills," she says. The years dragged on. The Williamses recall feeling guiity that Delia's problems were somehow their creation. Yet in the back of their minds was the nagging thought: There's something else wrong with our daughter. Those days are past. The Williamses' love and devotion tempered with unusual courage and faith in God and Delia's manadatory enrollment in the Port Neches school district gave them the answer they had been searching for. Preston Graham, school district director of student services and special education, says his staff diagnosed Delia's problem immediately. He finds it hard to understand how "anyone with eyes couldn't look at that child" and understand she had serious behavioral problems. Graham says after complete testing by his staff of diagnosticians, he referred the family to the Texas Elks Foundation for Handicapped Children inGonzales. Lisa Cowan, director of the children's diagnostic center, says the program for children began in 1976. The Texas Elks had operated a polio hospital there since 1945, but switched programs in 1976 after surveying state agencies for the most needed types of medical assistance for children. After Delia was accepted in residency for three weeks of intensive evaluation, which includes observing the child during social interaction, the staff determined that she had cerebral palsy. The Williamses were relieved to have an answer. "When Miss' Cowan told us Delia had cerebral palsy, Phyllis broke Jown and cried," Williams says. ; 'And you know what, Miss Cowan broke down and cried, too. Because those people there are really concerned. But I think Phyllis cried because she finally had her answer." Today, Delia is a beautiful, blue-eyed blonde 8-year-old that is as normal a child as you will find. She loves gospel music, knows each name of her nearly 50 dolls, attends special education classes at Groves Elementary School and enjoys her playmates. The Williamses praise the efforts, care and compassion they found at the children's diagnostic center. "I just can't believe what they can do. I just have to say what the Elks do by donating their money for the center is the most worthwhile thing I can think of," Williams says. The center restored the couple's faith in the medical profession and taught them that no matter what, the first thing they look for in a physician is his compassion and concern for the child and the parents. Exercise device helpful NEW YORK i AP> - A robotic rehabilitation system, one oi the most advanced technological medical devices designed to aid people with neuromuscular disorders, is in operation at the JCingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in'Brooklyn. The mechanism provides a safe and practical exercise program for the rehabilitation of paralyzed patients, especially those with injuries to the spinal cord, according to Dr. Asa P. Ruskin. director of Kingsbrook's department of rehabilitation medicine. Ruskin. a specialist in physical medicine, says that the equipment, which incorporates functional electrical stimulation with advanced computer technology, offers safety, reliability and ease of operation. ••Immobilization due to paralysis is one of the major challenges facing rehabilitation medicine today." Ruskin said. "It leads to costs which excessively burden the paralyzed person, his family, insurance carriers and the government." Vitamin marketed BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) — A new food supplement, containing a high concentration of protein balanced with minerals and vitamins, is designed to replenish lost nutrients following a heavy workout, build muscle, improve appearance and provide the nutrients necessary for good growth and strong bones. But don't bother looking for the Provesta Corp. product in your grocery store. The product is for horses only. Graf fman director PHILADELPHIA (AP) Pianist Gary Graf fman has been named artistic director of the Curtis Institute of Music here. Graffman, a graduate of Curtis, ha* been a member of tne school's piano faculty since 1980. Graffman, 57, will assume his duties on June 1. He becomes the eighth director In the school * 62- year history. With the use of the REGYS II Clinic Rehabilitation System, Ruskin said, the patient receives the medical benefits of both functional electrical stimulation and prolonged exercise. The method is designed to relax muscle spasms, prevent or retard tissue atrophy, increase local blood circulation and maintain or increase range of motion, he said. One of the first patients al Kingsbrook to benefit from this new system. Ruskin reports, is a 31-year-old man who was severely injured in an automobile accident in Connecticut. In the accident, he sustained multiple fractures of his spine, trunk and one arm. Because of the instability of the fractures and the severity of the injuries, it was felt that he could not tolerate the three-hour drive from Hartford to Brooklyn. He was flown by helicopter, which landed at a high school athletic field near King- sbrook. and a waiting ambulance took him to the hospital. With daily intensive treatment in the facility's David Minkin Rehabilitation Institute, physical therapists using the robotic system, among other therapies, have enabled the patient to progress from total to partial paralysis. Ruskin said. Relying on a walker, the patient is expected to leave the hospital soon. Rehabilitation on the machine occurs in two phases, Ruskin explains. Initial training consists ol surface stimulation of the quadricep (thigh) muscles and is designed to acclimate the patient to stimulation, to increase muscle strength and endurance, to increase range of motion and to work through spasticity in order to prepare the patient for advanced therapy. During the second phase, multiple sequential contractions of the quadricep, hamstring (knee) and gluteal (buttocks) muscle groups drive an er- gometer calibrated to a prescribed resistance, Ruskin adds. Sensors located in the ergometer provide continuous feedback to the computer which controls the rate of pedaling, as well as the firing sequence of the muscles, thereby achieving a rhythmical pedaling motion. MT. BELVIEU MEDICAL CLINIC 576-2888 NOW OPEN MONDAY ALSO DR. A. ILAHI M.D. GENERAL SURGEON WtUMNOiE ON MONDAY AFTfRNOONS JUDGE CHARLES COUSSONS Announces His Candidacy for Ro-aloctton to County avfl Court No. 4 *M far toy. i, TOTM m*J. i Ctmmttttt, ON** Mwwr, TNM. I1U fency WINNING BAND SHOWING OFF the trophy and plaque Highlands Bullock, Susan Rayburn and Miriam Compton. Junior School won in the Sylvan Beach Concert (Sun staff photo by Angle Braceyj Festival are band members, from left, Tami • Itl STA TE LA TIN WINNERS STUDENTS WINNING in the State Latin Contest David Carroll, Jacqueline Baly and Timothy Mix- from Robert E. Lee High School are, from left, on. (Sun staff photo by Carrie Pryor) Lets dress up Baytown Please Don't Litter! BAYTOWN CLEAN CITY COMM. When you need a doctor... CALL 425-9-DOC Gulf Const Hospital's Physician Referral ulf Coast :xooc;ar(hRd . tW* HOSpltal Bavlown. Texas 7752 httysprtal Corpof ation uf America HEL CRIME BAYTOWN CRIME STOPPERS Everyone talks about the problem of crime in the Baytown area, but few people do something about it. Become a Crimestopper by supporting the Baytown Crimestopper Program with your individual or company contribution. Since the Crimestopper Program was instituted in 1981, over 96% of the resulting arrests have led to a conviction. Over % of a million dollars in property and narcotics have been recovered. Get involved. Join today. NAME MEMBERSHIP FORM PHONE MAIL YOUR TAX Of DUCTIME CONTRIMJTION TO: ADMESS. COMPANY NAME. ADOtBS IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION OF A CtlM... YOUR IDENTITY WRl REMAIN ANONYMOUS. CALL 427-TIPS P.O. MX 4*1 . •AVTOWN, TX. 77S2t

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