Ethan’s Success with the Ponseti Method: A Clubfoot Infant’s Journey

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My name is Michelle Purtel. I am the grandmother of Ethan McDaniel and he’s a clubfoot patient of Doctor Dobbs and his assistants. My daughter learned that he had clubfeet when she was about 18 weeks pregnant. We noticed that there were different degrees of severity. And his feet were definitely turned in. And his little legs were too. When we first discovered that he was going to have clubfeet when he was born, my daughter and her husband and I, I came because I am the primary caregiver during the day, met with Doctor Dobbs and Christina And they convinced us, although we had done a lot of reading, that this was the way to go and they were just incredibly supportive and my daughter knew right away that this was what she wanted to do. He started the casting when he was only 10 days old and so, of course he didn’t have any idea what was really going on. And he just really did really well with it. The only issues that we ever had were just trying to make sure it stayed clean, but that’s something everybody goes through. But, he went through that for about 10 weeks and he did quite well with it Right away after the first casting when they took the first cast off, you know, you could see a noted difference and now we don’t see anything at all. I know we saw Doctor Dobbs a week ago and he was, you know, thrilled of course that his feet are absolutely perfect, but we know we have to continue treatment. Right now he is out of the brace for 12 hours a day. So primarily it’s just his sleeping time at night and then when he takes a nap. And so he has a lot of time to be able to crawl, and he’s just recently started walking. Whenever I’ve called Christina, most of the time I’ve left a message, she calls me back almost immediately and has always given me some suggestions that, you know, you really wouldn’t have thought that because you haven’t gone through it before. You want to put your brace back on for just a minute? You know, things to do. He’s had a rash. Often with the treatment with the brace and she gave me various things that we still do because he still gets it occasionally, you know. We clean out the brace with alcohol, we, you know, just do a variety of little things that she’s always been able to help me with. You have to stick with the program knowing full well that in the long run it’s going to be the best thing for everyone. For the child and also for his parents and grandparents and I think grandparents can be, you know, really helpful in being supportive to their daughter and/or son and let them know that, you know, they’re there and that they understand that this is something that they need to support and help do if they can. We investigated a lot, you know, both on the Internet and talk to other physicians that we knew and we knew right away that, considering the issues that children seem to have by having other methods of correction that we wanted to do that and we knew that it really was the only way to we felt ensure him being a really healthy child and adult. That’s one thing that I would advise is that they really believe that this is a really incredibly therapy that definitely works. The research shows that. When we first found out about this we didn’t know much about club feet at all and so, you know, we didn’t know what we would be facing or anything and the internet, Doctor Dobbs, the information that they give, you know, through Children’s Hospital about him and then about the Ponseti method was really helpful and then just knowing that that is something that is there and is an alternative I think is just incredibly important for the future of your child if you child is diagnosed with clubfeet. I have an incredible amount of faith in Doctor Dobbs. Every time we come his manner and Christina’s manner with us is always very supportive, very positive and makes us believe that we’re making all the right choices for him the whole entire time We’ve been in Doctor Dobbs office at various time when you’ve heard them singing happy birthday and congratulations to a little four-year-old that is finally, you know, out of the brace that we’re hoping, you know, he will continue in the therapy and, you know, will just continue to progress, which he has been doing. We hope that, you know he will be able to play sports. We just don’t see any reason why he can’t, because we just think it’s something that’s been corrected as long as we stay with the therapy and he’ll be very active. He is now. He’s incredibly active, you know, he’s just started to walk and actually more so just in the last couple of days and we just know that he’s going to be just fine.


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