At Greater Dallas Orthopaedics, the ultimate measure of success is patient satisfaction. We are honored when past patients reach out and are willing to share their stories and how GDO impacted their lives.
Up to this point, the patient stories we’ve covered have all been adults. This time, we’d like to share a pediatric patient story, as told by the patient’s mother. In talking about Addie’s story, Jeri M. discussed the roles that Dr. Mollabashy and the GDO team played in treating an extremely rare form of cancer and keeping them confident along the way.
In June of 2017, my daughter Addie went to a basketball camp and her right knee was really hurting. She pushed through for a few days, then her coaches brought it to my attention after realizing she hadn’t fallen or injured herself. After a week of the pain getting worse and worse, we went in for an X-ray and there was a cloud over the growth plate, and our doctor recommended getting an MRI to figure what was creating that shadow.
During the process of getting the MRI and biopsy done, we met with GDO, and from then on they were by our side. It took weeks for a specialist in another state to finally identify what Addie had, but for that whole period, GDO was advocating for us and giving us all the compassionate updates we could hope for.
Then we got the diagnosis, Telangiectatic Osteosarcoma. We were told that it’s rare, aggressive, and had to be addressed promptly. We found out on my birthday and I was beside myself, but the team at GDO kept checking in and caring for us. She told us our GDO surgeon would be Dr. Mollabashy, who I had never met. Throughout this ordeal, Addie had met with many doctors and she was always apprehensive about meeting new ones. It takes a lot to win her over.
We were told two things upfront about Dr. Mollabashy: he has done hundreds of resections just like this, and above all else, his heart is in this.
In the lead up to Addie’s surgery in October, we met with Dr. Mollabashy frequently. After her first X-ray at GDO, Dr. Mollabashy immediately had her leg put in a cast to prevent any fractures. Then, for the next few months, the GDO team graciously re-cast the leg as often as we needed. Addie’s a young girl and her cast would get wet or dirty, and the GDO understood that and re-cast with no questions asked.
On October 22nd, it was time for Addie’s surgery. My lasting memory of Dr. Mollabashy on this day is his combination of compassion and confidence. He sincerely put our minds at ease. Addie was understandably nervous about the procedure, and Dr. Mollabashy took extra steps to make her calm. The best example of this is that Addie was particularly anxious about the anesthesia, so he hand-selected an anesthesiologist that he knew was good with kids and would make her laugh and comfort her, rather than just putting the mask on.
Members of the GDO team were by our side on surgery day. Mollabashy was confident, but not cocky, and shot straight with us about the possible outcomes. But in what felt like a moment, he came back out. I expected an update, but he told me the procedure was done. That it was a perfect resection and the titanium prosthetic inside her leg was in place.
That day, Dr. Mollabashy became our miracle guy.
In the 2 years since Addie’s surgery, we’ve routinely visited GDO for check-ins and we’re so blessed to be able to say that she’s cancer-free. Dr. Mollabashy and the rest of the GDO team are always asking for updates about Addie’s school and sports progress and they treat us like family. I’m always showing Dr. Mollabashy videos of Addie running and doing gymnastics, two activities we were once sure she’d never be able to do again.
GDO filled our life with peace, confidence, and compassion during this difficult time, and that hasn’t changed throughout recovery. It’s hard to earn Addie’s love, but Dr. Mollabashy is perfect with her.
Now, all Addie wants to do is grow up, go to medical school, and become a doctor too.