Stories of Care - Patients

A photo of Talynn with her therapists
Photo by Carole & Roy Timm Photography

Small Steps Lead to Victory

“Her therapists love her because she never gives up and she’s always so strong. I’m so proud of her every day.”

She had no contractions and her water never broke. Within the blink of an eye, Katelyn’s routine checkup turned into an unexpected delivery.

“It happened so fast,” recalls Katelyn from Hamilton, who was visiting McMaster University Medical Centre for an appointment in 2017. “I was only 26 weeks into my pregnancy. I gave birth shortly after my arrival and they barely had time to get me from the waiting room to a bed.”

Baby Taylynn was born 14 weeks early, weighing 820 grams. She suffered brain bleeds and required two surgeries at McMaster Children’s Hospital for hydrocephalus, which is a dangerous buildup of fluid in her brain.

“We were told that she might not survive, but we refused to give up,” says Katelyn. “Luckily, she slowly gained strength and was able to come home after four months at the Hospital.”

Living with cerebral palsy

The hydrocephalus caused considerable brain damage, affecting motor function on Taylynn’s right side. This led to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP).

When she was about 18 months old, Taylynn was referred to the Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Program at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. She worked with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists to build strength and maximize her abilities. A custom-made ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) constructed by the Prosthetics and Orthotics team gave Taylynn extra support when using her walker.

Never giving up

“She’s progressing well with therapy,” says Katelyn. “Her speech is really coming along and she loves to talk! She used to need her walker all the time, but now she can stand without it and she can walk if she’s holding your hand.”

Taylynn’s spirit of determination is a source of inspiration for everyone around her.

“Her therapists love her because she never gives up and she’s always so strong. I’m so proud of her every day.”

At the age of two, Taylynn experienced seizures and was then diagnosed with epilepsy. She began visiting the Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital and is currently taking medication to help control the seizures.

Virtual care

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, many of Taylynn’s appointments went virtual to avoid unnecessary exposure to the virus.

“Virtual care has been great,” says Katelyn. “Through online consultation, the therapists are giving us the tools we need to continue care at home. We are so grateful.”

Taylynn continues to gain strength and is more determined than ever to live life to its fullest.

“Every small step is a victory to be celebrated. We’re so grateful for the amazing care she’s received.”

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