Clinic for Special Children volunteers, Carlyn Darby and John Thackrah, were featured in the April issue of...
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STRASBURG, PA- Researchers from the Clinic for Special Children and University of Georgia have identified a novel...
Each year the Crain Family Foundation organizes a special philanthropic event at the TopGolf in Scottsdale, AZ...
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There is a way to use the power of genetic knowledgeand biochemical knowledge to predict and prevent disabilities in children. And I've devoted my life to that idea.
A Medical Home That Makes a Real Difference
Our clinic serves as a trusted medical home for Amish and Mennonite families working to prevent and treat genetic illness in their young children. The sturdy, timber-framed building was “raised” by the hands of those in the Anabaptist community it serves just outside of Strasburg, PA. Inside, it is filled with an array of high-tech gene sequencing tools that allow us to deliver highly personalized care—a precise treatment option for the right patient at the right time.
The Watson Family
“The Clinic for Special Children is a shining star on many people’s journeys and I hope more people can find that star.” Ruth Watson speaks of frustrations, struggles and ultimately peace when describing her family’s journey in diagnosing and treating her son, Chris. Ruth had a routine pregnancy, delivery and first several months with her newborn son in the mid-1990s. However, when Chris was nine months old, she got a call from the daycare that would change her family’s lives. The daycare told Ruth that Chris had a cold and wasn’t breathing well; when Ruth picked him up, she says she was handed “a gray, limp child.” This was the first of many visits to the hospital for Ruth and her family. The physicians couldn’t find anything wrong and sent the family home. Several days after this initial hospital visit, her husband Bill called and said that Chris had a seizure and was rushed to the local Emergency Room.
After speaking with a pediatrician, they were released to another hospital in the area. Many of Chris’ symptoms pointed the physicians to diagnose Shaken Baby Syndrome which then started many rounds of police questioning for Ruth and Bill, the daycare, grandparents and anyone with direct contact with Chris. In 1997, they met with another doctor who said he didn’t believe the previous diagnoses. After testing and consulting with a team of medical students, Ruth and Bill finally got a diagnosis – Glutaric Acidemia Type 1 (GA-1).
Ruth and Bill poured themselves into researching GA-1, which in 1997, the information for patient expectancy was dismal at best. Through this research they found Dr. Morton’s information and called the Clinic for Special Children. Ruth describes after their first call with Dr. Morton, “we knew we found the guy.” They used all of the formula as suggested by the Clinic and saw great improvements in Chris’ condition. In September 1998, the Watson’s were able to visit the Clinic in Strasburg. During this trip they attended a local GA-1 meeting at a local restaurant, and Ruth was shocked at how well Chris’ condition was compared to other children in the group. At this moment she realized he truly was one of “the lucky ones.” Chris Watson is now a senior at the University of Denver studying Psychology with a minor in Computer Science and Communications. He plans to head home for a year to intern and then go to Texas A&M for a Master’s Degree.
Help us to continue to provide patients with timely, affordable and effective care!
Our clinic serves as a trusted medical home for families working to prevent and treat genetic illness in their children. Serving predominantly Amish and Mennonite families, the sturdy, timber-framed building was "raised" by the hands of those in the Anabaptist community outside of Strasburg, PA. Inside the clinic is filled with an array of high-tech gene sequencing that allows us to deliver state of the art care in a nurturing environment.