A Life-Changing Month for Johan

Boy returns to Honduras with iPad, greater independence  One morning in the not-too-distant future, Johan will leave his house and join his classmates on the walk to school in his mountainous home village outside Ocotepeque, Honduras. Slung on his back locked safely in a sturdy case will be an iPad donated to him during hisContinue reading “A Life-Changing Month for Johan”

A Beginner’s Guide to ‘Telling Stories to Live’

Somehow, you’ve stumbled upon this little corner of the Internet. Now you’re trying to figure out exactly what’s happening here. Giddy-up. Let’s go. Who runs this site? I’m John Agliata. I am a professional storyteller, expert father and husband, certified life coach, decent boys basketball coach, amateur comedian and a good faker at a wholeContinue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to ‘Telling Stories to Live’”

What This Site Is All About, As Told In 38 Gifs

So what exactly is going on here? Well, a lot. This website is various measures of creativity, therapy, safety, career exploration, vanity and insanity (plus a few mystery ingredients I haven’t quite identified yet) — all dumped into one glass, shaken (not stirred) and poured into a 32-ounce Big Gulp cup. To better understand whatContinue reading “What This Site Is All About, As Told In 38 Gifs”

Trifecta of ‘Nobel Prize’ Awards

Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., has won what industry insiders call the Nobel Prize for orthopaedics – and it’s for the third time. The director of the Research Center at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis earned this year’s Kappa Delta award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) as he celebrates five years here.Continue reading “Trifecta of ‘Nobel Prize’ Awards”

Stopping Pain from the Inside

What if, instead of addressing post-surgery pain with a pill or IV drip, a patient’s own cells could be triggered to prevent it? This is one of the goals of a new field of medicine created by investigators with the Research Center at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis. It’s called “mechanogenetics,” and itsContinue reading “Stopping Pain from the Inside”

Care from Routine to Rare

On a Tuesday afternoon late last year, Lindley Wall, M.D., checked on the progress of Chloe, a teenager whose broken arm she repaired after a tubing accident on the Lake of the Ozarks. A day later, J. Eric Gordon, M.D., charted the next steps in treatment for Camille, a patient with a literally one-in-a-million leg condition calledContinue reading “Care from Routine to Rare”

Dr. Chuck and the Pod People

It’s a Saturday afternoon and Charles Goldfarb, M.D., is in his basement cracking himself up. Upstairs, his wife, Talia, knows exactly what’s going on: Her husband is editing his podcast again. Chuck, as Dr. Goldfarb is known to just about everyone, is a nationally-renowned hand surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis, and co-hostsContinue reading “Dr. Chuck and the Pod People”

Lucy’s Shriners Hospital Christmas

On Christmas morning, Santa – who bears an uncanny resemblance to medical resident Alex Wendling – is scheduled to make a special stop at the inpatient unit of Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis. The jolly old elf has found the temporary home of a 12-year-old girl from Guatemala named Lucy. He will comeContinue reading “Lucy’s Shriners Hospital Christmas”

Virtual Visit From a Cardinals Ace

In a year in which physical presence has too often been replaced by sometimes fuzzy images of loved ones near and far, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty came through crystal clear Friday afternoon. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tall, baby-faced right-hander was unable to come into Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis as heContinue reading “Virtual Visit From a Cardinals Ace”

Stronger Bonds, Brighter Future

Hannah arrived in the United States on Christmas Eve last year, held in the arms of her new adoptive parents, Deanne and Matt. She stepped into a family filled with love, Christmas traditions and new siblings – three, to be exact – more than 8,000 miles from the orphanage in India she had called home.Continue reading “Stronger Bonds, Brighter Future”

Back to the Beautiful Music

Jasmine nestles her viola underneath her chin and takes a deep breath. She raises her bow and, as she glides it smoothly over the strings, warm, rich tones fill the air. The 11-year-old Evansville, Indiana, girl can get lost in the moment while making music. Thanks to recent surgery at Shriners Hospitals for Children —Continue reading “Back to the Beautiful Music”

A Hug From La-La Higgy Bear

Arrya’s eyelids were drooping toward sleep mode as she sat in her wheelchair with her bedazzled halo traction device holding her head upright. Having had surgery less than 24 hours before and just gone through a tough physical therapy session, the 6-year-old Kentucky girl was in serious need of a nap. Clutched in her leftContinue reading “A Hug From La-La Higgy Bear”

A World Away From Pain

Physical therapists firmly stretched Karley’s surgically lengthened right leg, trying to get the last 15 degrees of bend out of her knee. Meanwhile, Karley was in outer space chasing puppies. “She’s not as tense,” said Karley’s mom, Kayla, as she looked at her daughter on the treatment table, virtual reality goggles running the Space PupsContinue reading “A World Away From Pain”

Faster and Safer

Don’t think of a purple elephant. You thought of a purple elephant, didn’t you? For Madison, a 16-year-old Murphysboro, Illinois, resident, something similar happened when radiology technicians told her to stand still for X-rays as she started scoliosis treatment 3 1/2 years ago at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis. “When someone tells youContinue reading “Faster and Safer”

Deep Breaths, Deeper Bond

The first time Respiratory Therapy Manager Marcela Spraul tried to get Courtney to walk, the then-12-year-old simply refused. Now 17, Courtney is planning to follow in Marcela’s footsteps. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, resident was at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis on Oct. 19 for a follow-up visit. She sought Marcela to tell herContinue reading “Deep Breaths, Deeper Bond”

Finding the Beautiful Swan Within

The year was 1979, and Shari was a shattered 11-year-old girl. With a spine curved so severely by scoliosis that she struggled to lift her head to look forward, she was the target of her classmates’ abuse. “I would get kicked. I would get spit on,” she said, struggling to hold back tears even 43Continue reading “Finding the Beautiful Swan Within”

From Donor to Dad

When he first heard about Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis, Tom was toiling as an undersized 6-foot-tall center on the Odin (Illinois) High School basketball team trying – mostly unsuccessfully – to guard the other teams’ behemoth big men. His coach organized a fundraiser to purchase toys for the hospital’s child life department.Continue reading “From Donor to Dad”