Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Shares Similar Experience with Patients

Sheila Mason is a pediatric nurse practitioner who cares for children undergoing limb salvage procedures and children living with limb loss. She, herself, has the same condition as one of her patients,Nurse Practitioner Shelia Mason with patient Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFDD). PFDD is an uncommon birth defect affecting 1 in every 200,000 children. Sheila’s condition resulted in her having her leg amputated as a child. This is a complex condition to treat.

One of of Sheila’s patients, McKenna, also has PFFD. Sheila has known Mckenna’s parents since she was a child and they were with her throughout Sheila and her families decision to amputate. When Mckenna’s parents were starting their family and beginning the adoption process, they received Mckenna’s file with only 24 hours to make a decision. The only information they were provided was that she may have an issue with her hip and that one leg was shorter that then other. Once finalizing the adoption, they confirmed Mckenna was also born with PFFD. They received an opinion from another hospital and were devastated when told the only treatment option was amputation.

Fortunately, Sheila had started her position with Wake Forest Baptist where she met one of our pediatric orthopaedic surgeons who specializes in PFFD. They quickly determined that Mckenna was a great candidate for limb salvage and she has undergone her first two surgeries toward this.

PFFD and other similar conditions require our pediatric orthopaedic experts to work closely with families to make the decision of either limb salvage or amputation together, and tailor our state-of-the-art care to each individual patient. Our team of surgeons stay up to date on the latest technologies and research to make sure our patients receive the most advanced orthopaedic care, have the best possible outcome, and provide the tools and support so that these patients can live a limitless life. Regardless of the treatment decision, these patients are cared for through childhood until adulthood. 

Sheila spends her free time training for triathlons, traveling, art performances, cooking, and staying active in the community. She is also active in education on child safety and injury prevention for common injuries resulting in amputation. Recently Shelia partnered with the Carolina Adaptive Tournament in Greensboro for National Amputee Awareness Day (4/27), also known as “Show Your Mettle Day” to hold an adaptive tennis clinic for our pediatric amputee patients.