Christiane with her brother.
Isabel and Taurino Illescas didn't know why their young daughter's spine began to curve, but they are glad they had Los
Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital to turn to when she was diagnosed with scoliosis.
A poised and well-spoken 14 year-old, Christiane Illescas says she had little concern when she was first diagnosed;
it didn't seem all that important. But then the curve in her spine became more pronounced. Her physician at Los
Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital, Dr. Anthony Scaduto, who is medical director and the Lowman Professor of Pediatric
Orthopaedics, advised the family that surgery was needed.
“I cried so much for my daughter,” says Isabel; “She's so young.” With Christiane's adult life ahead of her, it hurt to think
of the years being filled with pain and limitation. Dr. Scaduto helped the family understand that the surgery would
give Christiane the chance to enjoy the life she and her family hoped for.
“He reassured me, told me that it was going to be fine,” says Christiane. For further reinforcement, Christiane researched her condition online.
“I didn't know anyone else who had scoliosis, so I went online. There, I could see what people went through - and how they felt after the
surgery.” Christiane's own surgery, in June, was successful.
In addition to enjoying a full physical life post-surgery, Christiane is pursuing her interest in the medical field. She enrolled at Orthopaedic
Hospital Medical Magnet High School (OHMMHS) in September. “I've thought about being a doctor,” she says, “but I want to learn more.”
Christiane's studies will help her do just that. The result of a partnership between LAOH and the Los Angeles Unified School District, OHMMHS
is ranked in the top 6% of secondary schools by US News and World Report, and prepares its students for success, higher education, and a
wide array of career paths in the medical and health sciences.
Christiane is enjoying her studies. “The school is small and the classes are interesting. I like my teachers. The students are also really nice.” She
pauses, and adds, “I'm glad I had a good doctor who treated me and made me much better.”