Westcoast Brace & Limb is set to recognize one of its patients during a swim meet Wednesday night at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex.
Taylor Sanders, who has been treated by the Tampa-area company since first being diagnosed with monoplegic infantile cerebral palsy, is a member of the Zephyrhills High School swim team, and will join her teammates Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m. to face Sunlake High School.
The recreation complex is at 3032 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes.
Sanders, a sophomore at Zephyrhills High, has faced challenges all her life, according to a release. She was originally put in a wheelchair, and told she would never be able to walk. However, Sanders taught herself how to walk, but used her tip toes, which caused a deformity in her right hip, making her less mobile.
However, since last November, Sanders has undergone two surgeries to correct her hip displacement, and to help lessen her pain and gait impairment. She had four bones cut in half, a hip rotated from her abnormal 70 degrees to the correct 15 degrees, a calf muscle cut to relieve the spasticity and throbbing constant pain, and her foot and ankle reconstructed.
She started the year on the swim team, but was not able to actually swim because she was still in her cast from surgery. She continued to show up to practice, and once she got her cast off Aug. 14 — just four weeks after surgery — she was in the pool the same day.
On Aug. 27, Sanders swam the 50-meter freestyle in 50 seconds, participating in her first meet of the season.
The recognition at Wednesday’s meet is designed to help raise awareness of cerebral palsy, and the positive effects that swim teams and high school sports have on disabled kids, according to a release.
Westcoast Brace & Limb has five locations in the greater Tampa Bay area, as well as mobile units throughout the region.