June 06, 2018
After many years of coping with a severe case of scoliosis, Owen DeLaCastro's mobility and quality of life was starting to decline. At only 13-years-old, Owen was having trouble walking long distances and wasn't able to run because of spine pain and discomfort. His health was declining and his scoliosis was beginning to cause life-threatening complications.
Owen's parents knew it was time to act. The family turned to an orthopedic spine surgeon they knew and trusted, Dr. Michael Janssen at North Suburban Medical Center (NSMC), to perform Owen's complex and lifesaving spine surgery.
A Compassionate Approach to Advanced Spine Surgery
"From the moment we began working with Dr. Janssen and the whole orthopedic spine surgery team at North Suburban, we knew Owen was in great hands," said Jon DeLaCastro. "The whole team really went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable with the surgery and make sure our needs were met."
Because of Owen's extreme case of scoliosis and the risks associated with the spine surgery, the North Suburban orthopedic surgery team met with the family before the surgery to go over the procedure and get to know Owen. The nurses, physician's assistants and anesthesiologist spoke with Owen, explained the spine procedure and asked him questions.
An Orthopedic Surgery Team Committed to a Positive Outcome
On the day of the surgery, Dr. Janssen set out to perform a complicated and risky procedure to correct Owen's scoliosis. Over the next 13 hours, Owen's spine was disassembled and adjusted, and one of his ribs was removed to make room for his spine. Owen received round-the-clock care and attention during the surgery, from a dedicated team of nurses to the hospital's top executives.
After days of surgery and weeks of recovery, Owen's family and surgical team were thrilled to learn that Owen's quality of life was improving drastically. "I can do everything I want to do now," said Owen. "I can walk, I can run, I'm active again in the choir and the middle school band where I play the saxophone. The best thing about Dr. Janssen was that he was really comforting and gave me a lot of information throughout the process. He wanted me to understand what was happening and why."
For Owen's father Jon, the best thing about working with Dr. Janssen was the personalized care. "He still calls me and texts me occasionally to ask about Owen," said Jon. "It's been months since the spine surgery and he still checks in every once in a while to make sure Owen's doing well and his health is improving. The team at North Suburban truly cares about him, and we're so grateful."