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One step at a time- Stephany walks again

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

Almost eight months after coming close to losing the ability to move her legs, 10-year old Stephany Quiñones is walking again.
Stephany, who had suffered spinal injury after a metal gate fell on her in November 2014, took her first steps last week, after a complicated surgical procedure and months of physical therapy.
“I still can’t run”, Quiñones mused, “but I am just happy I can walk again.”

The once avid football player added that she has some difficulty walking straight, but was told that her walking will improve as the therapy progresses.

Stephany said that she is excited to be able to return to school in September, where she will sit standard four at San Francisco Roman Catholic School in Orange Walk.

The accident has prevented her from returning to school for two months of the school year.

Throughout the surgery and subsequent therapy, her faith in God, constant prayers, attending church despite her limited mobility, have motivated her to keep on moving after her accident.

The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital arranged for her surgery through the Belize Spine Program, an initiative carried out in collaboration with the international organization Spine Overseas (SOS).

Dr. Javier Dupuy, neurosurgeon at the KHMH, and coordinator for the Belize Spine Program, explained that Quiñones was treated for a condition called Spondylolisthesis, where the spinal chord becomes squeezed in between two vertebrae that have shifted.
He noted that when considering the severity of her condition, when they conducted the surgery, he suspected that she may have already had some spinal displacement, prior to the gate falling on her.

Her treatment included therapeutic massages, and pedalling a stationary bicycle, to return strength into her legs.
Dupui told The Reporter this week that Quiñones can only walk on the outstep of her feet, but is expected to have the most of her functions restored after about a year of continuous therapy.

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