Zachary is Honored as a Hero by Kids Wish Network and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie

“The tremendous amount of treatment he has needed has not been physically or emotionally easy on him”

The positive attitude exuded by Hero of the Month Zachary is nothing short of remarkable considering the number of surgical procedures he has endured during his young life. His parents brought him to Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie when they noticed he was having difficulty walking as a toddler. After a thorough examination by a pediatric orthopedic physician, it was determined that Zachary would need surgery on both of his femurs to improve his ability to walk. At that time, Zachary was diagnosed with cleidocranial dystosis (CCD), a rare skeletal abnormality characterized by defective development of the cranial bones and by the complete or partial absence of collar bones.

At the tender age of four, Zachary underwent the first of many operations to address his condition. CCD is known to cause delays in the development of motor skills such as crawling and walking. Zachary now uses braces and shoe inserts to aide his walking. Zachary is at a high risk for developing osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones progressively more brittle and prone to fracture, at a relatively early age due to the abnormalities in his skeletal system. He is also likely to have recurrent chest, sinus, and ear infections. There is concern that repeated ear infections may even cause hearing loss.

Over the years, Zachary has learned to ambulate independently. He continues to receive care at Shriners as his doctors carefully monitor his progress. The tremendous amount of orthopedic treatment that he has received since his diagnosis has not been physically or emotionally easy on Zachary. Recently, Zachary had another surgery to keep his hips in the proper position to help him walk without difficulty. His abilities may not be the same as those of his peers, but his perseverance and determination throughout his recuperation from his latest surgery are what drive him to continue down the difficult road he faces living with CCD, a life-long condition.

It is with great pride that we honor Zachary’s resilience by recognizing him as Kids Wish Network’s along with Shriners Hospital for Children – Erie’s Hero of the Month. Way to go, Zachary!


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