Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, kyphosis is a hunching of the upper back and shoulders. Both, are common to individuals diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome. Hypotonia, or low muscle tone throughout the body seems to contribute to these conditions.
"Franklin" is a turtle. He is one of the cartoon stars of PBS television and another of Nicholas's favorite characters. Franklin is also a book series. Nicholas adores these stories and has been the only student at the elementary school library to check out "Franklin's Halloween" in the middle of winter. In fact, Nicholas has checked it out all year long, some 27 times. Thankfully, the school librarian has been very accommodating in indulging Nick's passion for Franklin.
With the Franklin Shell now complete, John made the last finishing touches on this new beauty of a brace.
John puts the brace on and Velcros the straps in the back
He marks where he needs to make minor adjustments, like cutting back some of the molding.
These Velcro straps go over Nick's shoulders and attach to the front of the brace to pull his shoulders back
I love this photo of Nicholas looking at John.
Weston waiting (not too patiently) as John attaches the left strap
Then the right.
Next, John places a red line on the strap with so that we know how tight we must adjust the straps.
And viola, it looks something like this!
John also cuts down Nick's shoe inserts so that they now fit inside his shoes.
The shoe inserts are used to correct a condition called valgus foot, or "flat feet" another orthotics issue that is very common to individuals diagnosed with PWS. It can be a very painful condition and if left uncorrected, can lead to other more serious issues like hip or knee problems. Nick has had shoe inserts even before he learned to walk!
And so with new shoe inserts and a new Franklin Shell, Nicholas is all ready for a happy and healthy New Year.