Anushka Braun – Stories from Shriners Hospital


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It has been an enormous blessing to have been working with Scheck and Siress!

Here is how we were introduced to Sheck and Siress: We brought Anushka home from India in April of 2015. She was five years old then and born with multiple congenital birth defects, upper and lower extremities. While the caretakers in her orphanage were very excited she would now have a family to love and care for her, they thought, at the very best, Anushka would get a fancy wheelchair in America. The possibility of Anushka walking was just a dream to them.

After our arrival back to the USA, and for the following 8+ months, we met with numerous medical professionals/specialists and teams from children’s hospitals to a rehabilitation center to find the best possible care for Anushka. We met with the heads of departments who talked about the possibilities of bracing, but they did not think it would be successful and knew it would not be a long-term solution for Anushka. Prosthetic devices were discussed briefly but were quickly dismissed. We were told that Anushka’s lower extremities were “complex” and that a double amputation was possibly the best option for her.

As we continued to seek to understand her challenges, possible future and made efforts to prepare her, she grew in her understanding of the English language. She started to understand our medical discussions, and she did not want to be amputated. She had already undergone two amputations and an autoamputation in India and did not want another one. She was one determined little girl with hope, as big as the ocean, in God who would answer her prayers to keep her feet!

Enter Scheck and Siress…. In January of 2016, a day before Anushka’s 6th birthday, we went to meet Dr. Ackman at Shriners Children’s Hospital. At this time, we were seeking to find the best orthopedic specialist to help Anushka with her limb reduction surgery.

To our great surprise, Scheck and Siress make regular rounds with Dr. Ackman in his prosthetics department. And by the providence of God, John with Scheck and Siress happened to accompany Dr. Ackman that morning.

After her examination and x-ray reviews, it was to our great delight to hear, there was a long-term option for us to keep Anushka’s feet. We had not heard this yet to date. Dr. Ackman and John were familiar with Anushka’s complex lower extremities in that they had been successfully caring for another girl with similar lower extremities for several years who also kept her feet.

Scheck and Siress could make Anushka a custom prosthesis that would work with her existing feet! Wow! We were over the moon! What a tremendous birthday present! Anushka was beaming with happiness!

Next thing we knew, we were asked if we would like to cast her feet that day… in stereo and a resounding, Yes!!!! After casting, Anushka was fitted in her first test prosthetic devices one week later!

With the help of the incredible team at Scheck & Siress and at Shriners Children’s Hospital, Anushka was learning to walk for the first time! What was once thought of as “just a dream,” by so many who had met and cared for Anushka over the years….. just came true! God does answer prayers, and dreams still do come true! This was the case for our little girl who 6+ months from her casting is now walking, able to reach light switches, and attempting to rock climb! She has recently been fitted for new carbon fiber prosthetic feet and is learning to run and scooter. She can’t wait to ride a bicycle! She is on the go-go-go! And we are all so thrilled for her and forever grateful.

Our experience with the entire staff at Scheck and Siress has been, not only professional but truly caring. Every member of the team there has made a huge difference in the life of our little girl, that’s for sure! From the front office staff who greet us with the warmest smiles every time to the technicians who made her incredible devices, to the accounting personnel who help us with our invoices, to the interns, etc…. And to John…. He is our prosthetist extraordinaire and friend for life!!!

Sheck and Siress are caring, creative and innovative, willing to work with you, and truly go the extra mile! In our case, the extra foot was a huge, huge step forward! 🙂 A BIG THANK YOU to everyone at Scheck and Siress from all our hearts!!!!! We are so grateful for all you do and make possible!