Disabilities: Luongo Has Miracle Surgery
On Good Friday 2013, then 39-year-old Nicole Luongo of Plantation, Florida, took a step of faith. She'd had cerebral palsy since birth, had significant difficulty walking her entire life, and her physical condition was deteriorating.
A person usually "gets" cerebral palsy during fetal development, when brain damage short-circuits the brain's ability later on to effectively control body coordination.
She said, " I used to walk with my knees bent, would lean heavily to my left, and would hit the floor with the front of my foot." Her specific type of cerebral palsy affected her from the legs down. About six years ago, she began having trouble lifting her right leg over sidewalk curbs.
By chance, two years ago, she learned of a medical procedure called a selective dorsal rhizotomy, performed by Dr. P. S. Park of St. Louis Children's Hospital, an operation that helps some people with cerebral palsy improve their gait and quality of life.
She said, "With the operation, a neurosurgeon goes in through your back and touches each of the nerve roots to determine the ones causing muscle tightness. My surgeon then removed some of my nerve roots. Muscle tightness is the main problem for people with cerebral palsy. This is the only way to remove some, or in some cases all, of the problem."
The surgery was a step of faith because she was told she wouldn't know how she would benefit, if at all, until after surgery. She also didn't know before surgery if all her costs would be covered. She was able to raise $4,500 from donors to help defray costs.
Her Good Friday 2013 operation was a success. She said, "It enabled me to walk almost like a 'normal' person. If you look at my Youtube videos of how I used to walk and how I walk now, it's unbelievable."
As a child, she had been unable to walk upstairs without using a handrail. She now walks with her heel striking the floor first, and her back and legs straight. She has better balance. And she no longer has to use a handrail when walking upstairs.
She said, "I feel I have a moral obligation to share my story. While believing I could have managed all right without surgery, my life became much better with it." She said she wanted others to know about this operation and what it could do for them
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesRocklin Unified Violated Law with Employee RetaliationA recent ruling by Administrative Law Judge Robin W. Wesley has found that the Rocklin Unified School District broke the law by retaliating against four employees and violated Educational Employment Relations Act
Severe Drought Spurs Additional Water Saving MeasuresDrought Watch: As the lingering effects of a multi-year drought continue to cast their parched shadow on much of California, Placer County continues to take steps to reduce water use and eliminate water waste.
PCWA Limits Outdoor Watering to Two Days Per WeekDrought Watch: Directors of the Placer County Water Agency on Thursday (July 31) adopted new drought emergency regulations as mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board.
California Drought Brings Emergency RegulationsDrought Watch: An emergency regulation to increase conservation practices for all Californians is now in effect.
Placer United Soccer Claims San Diego Surf CupThe Placer United 97B Red soccer team claimed the San Diego Surf Cup with a 3-1 victory over Marin FC 97 Blue in the Menís U18 Super bracket
California State Parks: Sweeping Changes On The Way?The Parks Forward Commission, an independent panel of experts charged by the Legislature and Governor to review the future of the state's park system, issued its draft plan
Autism and Fragile X Participants sought for Memory StudyThe UC Davis MIND Institute is seeking participants for a study examining the benefits of a computer-based, game-oriented training program for enhancing working memory in children and adolescents with autism and fragile X syndrome.
Concerns Addressed Over Truckee River Rafting Trash With the commercial rafting operations on the Truckee River over for the year, Placer County is working with partners to provide cleanup of the trash and debris along the river.
Roseville Financial Advisor Sentenced for Ripping Off ClientsMichelle Lee Kern, 36, who worked as a licensed financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Roseville has been sentenced to 46 months in prison.
Roseville, Rocklin among California's Best Cities for Home OwnershipIn a recent Nerd Wallet report, Rocklin, Folsom, and Roseville, rank 11th through 13th (respectively) among California's Best Cities for Homeownership.
Hidden Falls Regional Park Receives GrantPlacer County's "gem of the foothills," Hidden Falls Regional Park, is the recipient of a grant that will fund innovative projects protecting long-term ecological values and economic viability
Roseville Developer Begins Senior Community in Elk GroveUSA Properties Fund will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for Arbor Creek Senior Apartments at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 4, at the project site located at Elk Grove-Florin and Calvine roads