Two children with spinal muscular atrophy bond at St. Louis hospital


ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Children’s Hospital is one of the few in the nation to offer specialized treatment for children with spinal muscular atrophy called the MAGEC rod procedure. 

A little girl from Branson and one from Kansas City came to St. Louis as infants. The girls’ mothers bonded immediately as they traveled the scary medical path in front of them at the same time. 

Dr. Munish Gupta, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, said both girls had a severe case of SMA. Brooklynn and Molly are now 4 and 5 years old and are best of friends. 

They are going through the MAGEC rod procedure that involves putting a rod in the back and using magnets to gradually stretch and support their spine until fully grown. Their families say it has greatly improved the girls’ quality of life. 

They can sit up more and for longer periods. The girls each go through the minimally invasive procedure to stretch their spines every three to four months. They call it getting taller. 

The children are awake the entire time. Their spines will eventually be fused. Both families share birthdays, vacations and have formed lifelong friendships

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