State: Portland, OR
Facility: Shriners Hospitals for Children – Portland
Korina is a precocious, witty, smart and charming 11-year-old. From birth to 5 years of age, she lived in an orphanage in China because she was shunned from her own family and culture due to her disfigurement and because she was born a girl. Her adopted mom fell in love with Korina’s large dark eyes and sweet personality, hardly even noticing her congenital musculoskeletal deformity of her spine (scoliosis). She adopted Korina and whisked her off to live in Oregon. Since November 2005, Korina has had 14 surgeries (including VEPTR, repeated Halo Traction treatments for several months at a time, lengthy hospitalizations and surgery to separate her ribs and sternum).
Despite her physical challenges, Korina doesn’t let anything stop her from living life to the fullest! She plays the piano and flute, is learning to write Chinese, and is an accomplished artist. During her last hospital stay, she helped paint a wall mural in the Outpatient Clinic.
Due to a medical setback, she will require another major surgery. Despite learning this, she remains upbeat, always looking for the positives. She is an inspiration to everyone who meets her. Because of her strong spirit, she is Shriners Hospital, Portland Unit’s Hero of the Month.