July 18, 2015 

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2019 Shriners Hospital for Children Patient Ambassador
73nd Annual East-West Shrine Game
Emaline Musson

Emaline Joy entered the world as the answer to her family’s prayers and the fulfillment of their dreams. By the time Ema was four months old, her parents knew something wasn’t right. The little family entered a dark valley when Emaline was diagnosed with infantile spasms (a deadly seizure disorder) and an MRI revealed she had a massive stroke shortly before birth. The future was uncertain and looked bleak.

An emergency trip across the country brought Emaline to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she received prompt and excellent neurological intervention. When the seizures stopped the girl that was hidden behind a brain that was in constant static was free to blossom. She smiled more in that first seizure-free day than she had in her entire life before.

Because of the stroke, her right side is weak, similar to what you would expect as the result of a stroke in an adult. Therapy became her life. And so did hand and foot braces. Emaline says, “they make me run fast!”

As a growing girl, she needs new braces frequently and paying for braces proved to be a hardship as private insurance refused to cover them. A friend, who is also a Shriner, walked the family through the process to get Ema seen at Shriner’s Hospital. This would turn out to be the family’s most rewarding medical experience.

From the personal escort to the right floor for her first appointment to the comfort provided to Emaline’s crying little sister, Shriner’s Hospital demonstrated that they cared about the whole family.

Partway through that first day, Emaline played in the fourth-floor play room between appointments. Her mom whispered to her dad, “This is the most amazing hospital I have ever seen…I hope I didn’t just jinx it!” She did not jinx it! Shriner’s hospital has provided the same excellent care for Emaline in the area of orthopedics for four years now.

Her care from Shriner’s Hospital has helped her live a full life. Ema is an active little eight-year-old.                                             

She loves to swim, ski, ride horses, hike and scooter up and down the sidewalk. She has a special bond with her three little sisters and dotes on them all. She hopes to become a ballet instructor so she can “teach all the children in the world.