Surviving Surgery as a Child

Photo of Jerry Gentile

One of the hardest experiences I had as a child was when it was discovered that I had a benign tumor wrapped around my spinal cord. One can imagine, that this would be a semi-traumatic experience, considering the difficult and often unpredictable nature of surgery. I did not even fully understand it at that time, and I feared that the surgery would endanger my ability to ever walk again. I had an operation at the Boston Children’s Hospital, where they took a part of my hip bone and fused it onto my lower spine. This difficult experience affects me to this day: I still can’t touch my toes, but I am happy and grateful that I am able to walk.

I was in a full body cast for several months, which, as you can imagine was no fun at all for a little boy. This experience taught me the value of health and the value of having others around you that provide support in such trying times. I regained a new appreciation for simple everyday experiences, like taking a walk down our neighborhood, having ice cream with a parent, and being able to run around and enjoy myself with no body cast. Surgery has taught me to develop an appreciative spirit which I have to this day.

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Surviving Surgery as a Child
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One of the hardest experiences I had as a child was when it was discovered that I had a benign tumor wrapped around my spinal cord. - Jerry Gentile
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