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Mikayla's Story

Mikayla has hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy (CP) on her left side, and has been getting Botox in her left leg since she was 3. She just turned 6.

“We actually attribute part of the reason Mikayla can walk to the success we’ve seen at the ErinoakKids Botox clinic,” says Amanda, Mikayla’s mom. “When you look at the videos before her first clinic visits in comparison to the after videos, you are just shocked. You can’t even believe you’re looking at the same child, the difference is that dramatic. We expected to see results, but we didn’t think we would see results that powerful.”

Mikayla smiling wearing a pink dress with a leg brace on her left leg

Amanda recalls having difficulty putting Mikayla’s shoe on her left foot. The nature of Mikayla’s CP means she is constantly walking on her toes, making it difficult for her foot to lay flat in a shoe. 

“We couldn’t even leave the house,” Amanda remembers. 

The protocol at the Botox Clinic here at ErinoakKids is a visit every 6 months for routine injections. Amanda remembers how Angela, a Pediatric Nurse at ErinoakKids, advocated for Mikayla to get her procedure done every 4 months instead. 

“We were seeing such great results. Having these routine injections means Mikayla is more comfortable. The injections relax her leg muscles, allowing them to stop straining. It is uncomfortable for her without these injections.”

Mikayla smiles brightly in a boat wearing a life jacket. While Mikayla visits the clinic, the staff do all they can to make her feel comfortable. Over time, they have grown to know Mikayla, and they do all they can to make her laugh during what can be a painful procedure.

“After she gets her injections, Angela offers her Kit Kats, band aids and bravery beads. These bravery beads symbolize her strength during each procedure. She is so proud of her string of beads, and has even taken them to school to show her friends,” says Amanda. “She looks forward to adding one to her collection every time.” 

Mikayla poses with her mom, Amanda, and her little sister. They are wearing matching tshirts that read: "I support accessibility inclusion equity"

After 3 years, Amanda sees how the staff at ErinoakKids have grown to know Mikayla on a deeper level. 

“We don’t feel like a number going into the clinic. They know your child and they remember things about her that only a family member would. They joke with her and do things to make her smile and feel special,” says Amanda. “They take time to make you feel good when you’re leaving, too. The staff at the Botox clinic never rush you out the door and they always answer my questions.”

Mikayla wears a tshirt that reads "Gould Syndrome. I am RARE. I am STRONG."

Mikayla is too young for a muscle-lengthening surgery, so having access to a clinic that allows her to walk more comfortably on her left foot is extremely beneficial for her and her family. 

“So many more families should know about this service,” says Amanda. “It has changed our daughter’s life.” 

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