Anthony Sochet, M.D., walks into the hospital room as 7-year-old Major recovers from an extensive brain surgery and fusion after being diagnosed with Chiari malformation, a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. Post operation, doctor’s orders were to wear a device called a cervical collar (c-collar) to support Major’s neck. The surgery will help alleviate his symptoms from the structural defects of his skull and cerebellum–headaches, rapid eye movement and much of his incoordination.
Major has grown tired of people coming to check on how he’s adjusting to the collar. He doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to talk about it.
“He did not want that thing on,” explains Major’s mom, Melissa.
As Sochet enters, Major pulls a blanket over his head.
Sochet plays along.
“Dr. Sochet threw that blanket over his head, like, ‘We’re both under it. We’re both under our blankets now, so, how do you feel?’” Melissa describes.
Melissa snaps a photo to remember the sweet encounter.
“The moment means a lot to me,” says Melissa with emotion in her voice–fighting back a few tears of appreciation. “I’m sorry, I’m going to cry. It was really special because you know Major was embarrassed. It was awesome.”