Devin Sidhu and his twin sister, Jenna, surprised their parents by being born 11 weeks early and weighing only about three pounds each. Due to his more fragile condition, Devin needed to stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a month before he was strong enough to go home. And during his stay, Devin was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Devin depends on his family to assist him in all of his day-to-day activities. His cerebral palsy causes him to have weak muscles and motor skills so he uses a wheelchair to help him sit up and move around. His complex condition has also affected his bone structure. At age eight, Devin underwent two surgeries at BC Children's Hospital to correct his hip displacement. Devin returns regularly to the hospital, as well as its sister facility, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, to help manage his health needs. He has to receive Botox treatments in his thighs, hamstrings, wrists and back to release tightness in his muscles.
Devin's parents, Mindy and Sam, are grateful to the caregivers at BC Children's Hospital and Sunny Hill for their unwavering support. 'Every person we've come into contact with, whether they are an administrator, nurse or doctor, has been first class,' says Mindy. 'They make us feel like we matter and they take time to explain and then re-explain.'
They also appreciate the many activities that Devin can participate in while he is receiving care. He loves music, art therapy, and spending time in the swimming pool. 'He loves being around people and loves the sound of laughter,' says Mindy.
Devin's most recent treatment was to correct a severe curvature in his spine, which was curved to almost 125 degrees. The surgery, completed in two stages, took more than 20 hours. Although it took Devin a month to recover, the surgeries made a drastic difference in the teenager's life. He is now able to sit in his wheelchair for longer periods of time, allowing him to go on more outings with his family. Recently, he even attended a hockey game to watch the Vancouver Canucks play.