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Two friends go through identical surgeries on the same day

201608identicalsurgeries1A friendship that began as pen pals became a strong bond when two girls with spinal birth defects scheduled their identical surgeries at the same time. Genny (8) wanted to find a friend who could understand what it’s like to live with her condition. She was introduced to Haley (9) through their parents’ spina bifida support group. Soon, the girls discovered they had a lot more in common.

Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the fetal spinal cord fails to properly close during pregnancy. The condition can cause many different symptoms, but Genny and Haley had a similar experience of the disease and were lucky to have found support in one another. Both girls came to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for surgery to improve bowel and bladder issues cased by spina bifida. The procedure would create a stoma in the belly button that would help them manage their symptoms. Children’s Hospital is one of the only hospitals offering this procedure in the Midwest. Specialists at Children’s continue to develop new treatments for spina bifida, and we now perform prenatal spina bifida surgery to repair the spinal defect while the baby is still in the womb.

201608identicalsurgeries2Genny and Haley decided to schedule their surgeries at Children’s on the same day. Following the surgery, Genny and Haley helped one another recover. The experience was much less scary thanks to having a friend by their side every step of the way.

Read more about Genny and Haley from their story in the Post-Crescent.

Learn more about our Spina Bifida Program

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Spina Bifida Program within our Neurosciences Center was created to serve patients with all levels of spina bifida and related conditions. Our goal is to help children with spina bifida stay healthy, gain independence and become confident in their abilities. Our team includes an Advanced Practice Nurse, pediatric neurosurgeons, urologists, orthopedists, and more. We provide a team approach when evaluating patients by utilizing a multidisciplinary care model. 

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Neurosciences Center is the largest and most comprehensive pediatric neurosciences center in the state and ranks among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report. It is through your generous support that we are able to continue to make advancements in spina bifida treatment options and give kids the best care every day.

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