“Ever since we met Dr. Buckley, everything has happened so blissfully for us.” That’s what Anna Mitchell says as she discusses the care her son, Brantley McGinnis, received. But the truth is, things weren’t always so blissful for the McGinnis family.
Anna was pregnant when she first learned her baby would have a heart defect. It was anticipated that Brantley had DiGeorge Syndrome, and the journey would be long. He had his first heart procedure at the tender age of three days old, followed by an emergency open heart surgery. Five days on the ECMO system (an artificial heart and lungs) and lots of love from his family assisted in his heart’s miraculous recovery.
Even with exceptional medical care, Brantley experienced complications that impacted the blood supply to his hip joint. Brantley would scream in pain during diaper changes or when carried on his mother’s hip. Fortunately, Anna took note of the issue and sought the help of Pediatric Orthopaedist Dr. Buckley at TOC who ultimately diagnosed Brantley with hip dysplasia.
Anna explained, “We absolutely love Dr. Buckley. He did the most innovative procedure on Brantley using donor bone to create a new hip socket…that kept him from having multiple hip replacements.”
Brantley had surgery at the age of three, and ten months later, the hardware came out. Shortly thereafter, Brantley didn’t just walk for the first time, he ran. The little man has been going nonstop ever since.
Brantley has had five heart surgeries with more to come. Yet, despite his struggles, Brantley remains an exuberant child. He loves games and Legos, and even received a model heart to dissect for Christmas! Brantley touched our hearts (and our funny bones) last Halloween, when he dressed up as Dr. Buckley!
Brantley’s outcome is the kind of happy ending we all hope for. But his story doesn’t stop here. Motivated by this experience, Brantley’s mother has decided to go back to school. She is three semesters away from becoming a nurse, at which point she will pursue her career…as an ECMO specialist.
Dr. Buckley and the TOC team are grateful to be a part of Brantley’s amazing story. He’s a hip kid, with a contagious smile, and an active future.
“It is extremely rewarding to perform hip reconstructive surgery that allows Brantley and other children with hip problems to have normal and active childhoods.”
– Dr. Steven Buckley
TOC Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
(This article originally appeared in TOC’s Spring 2019 newsletter.)