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Patient Stories

What's Your Story?

We love to hear from our patients. If you'd like to give us an update, please send an e-mail message to Holly Wheatley or write us at:

Pediatric Orthopaedics
204 N. Keene St., Suite 102
Columbia, MO 65212

We'll ask for your written permission to publish your story or photos, and we will refrain from publishing your name or other information as needed to protect your privacy.

Read What Others Have to Say About Dr. Hoernschemeyer

Gavin Brantley
Words cannot describe how wonderful Dr. Dan and the team at University Orthopaedics have been during Gavin's broken leg and surgery experience. We were devasted when he broke his leg, but Dr. Dan and his team were awesome in providing the best care and allowing our little boy to walk again as soon as possible. Dr. Dan listens to us and answers all our questions. We feel so blessed to have such great care in mid-Missouri and thank Dr. Dan for everything he has done.

-- Leslie Brantley, Versailles, MO

Mark Moses
To Dr. Dan:

This letter is to let you know how I have been doing since my scoliosis operation. I am back on the football field and am able to go the beach often and enjoy swimming. This has been for me a good experience. And I am grateful for all that you have done to give me this chance at a normal life.

I remember when I was told that I needed surgery my first thought was "Who would do it?" After much discussion with my doctors here in Trinidad and after many meetings, my parents thought it best to do this operation in the United States.

With recommendations from family friends who are doctors in Florida, we were advised to go to Missouri for this type of surgery and the ONLY person to do this is Dr. Dan.

As the date of the operation approached, my anxiety got even stronger as I really did not know what to expect. The details of the surgery my parents left all the explaining to the doctor, as they believed he would best answer all my questions.

When we arrived at the hospital the first day, we were taken to Dr. Dan's office to meet with him and for all my questions to be answered. My heart was thumping, as I did not know what sort of person he would be. Old, Rough. Gruff, Unapproachable or just even Scary. Imagine my surprise when I finally did meet him.

He was just the opposite of all the things that I feared. He explained everything to me and right from the start made me feel very much at ease. I began to relax and knew that my parents had indeed made the right decision. I went back to the hotel that evening with a smile on my face.

The next day was the surgery. After all the preparations, I was wheeled into the operating room, anxious but with confidence that all will be well as Dr. Dan made me feel safe. I knew it would be long and I knew that I would be in intensive care after surgery, but I also knew that this operation could not be avoided and that I would have a chance at a normal life after.

All went well and my recovery was just as wonderful as Dr. Dan visited me every day and even brought his family to meet me. I felt so comfortable with him that I began to relax and to look forward to my return home to Trinidad.

The hospital stay was very good as the nurses were very caring and professional. When I was moved from the Intensive Care to the Adolescence ward, I knew it would soon be over. The operation was successful and my recovery was promising.

Before I left to return to Trinidad Dr. Dan and his team met with us to go over all that I needed to do in order to obtain full recovery. I was given all the necessary tools that would help in my recovery. I will always be thankful to Dr. Dan and Dr. Anderson and all of their staff for their care towards me. I will always remember Holly who was so warm and friendly. Thank you Dr. Dan for giving me back my normal life.

It's now been two years and I am feeling great. At times I don't even remember that my back is scarred and that I must be careful when doing certain things. I am just a normal 17 year old who will soon be driving with the pals.


-- Mark Moses, Trinidad

Dylan Kliegel
We first discovered our son Dylan, had a clubfoot while I was still pregnant. When we were told, we had a race of emotions. After the tears and some of the fear subsided, I did a lot of Internet searching about clubfoot and the treatment. Ironically, that is how we found Dr Dan; I was searching and ran across his web page, read a testimonial and thought I want to meet him. My husband and I made an appointment and from day one we were hooked on Dr. Dan, he made so many fears go away.

Dylan first saw Dr. Dan when he was 10 days old and we started on his first casting series. Dylan had a total of eight (8) castings and then started wearing the Dennis Brown shoes. The castings were harder on Mom and Dad than Dylan. Dr. Dan was so informative during the whole process that we left each visit in good spirits as we saw the improvement in Dylan's foot. Dylan struggled more with his shoes, but again Dr. Dan was so supportive, he helped us through the rough times, and made every effort to make the trouble go away.

Dylan will be one year old on April 16th and he is doing great. He currently only wears his shoes at night and has adjusted well. He is walking around furniture and moving about just like any other one year old. I would, and have, recommended Dr. Dan to anyone who needs orthopedic specialty. Dr. Dan has made the last year of life so easy and has done so much for Dylan, we are so thankful.

-- Sany Kliegel, St. Thomas, Mo.

Cole Anderson
As a mom to three boys, I can't predict when my kids will get sick. I can, however, be prepared for their well-being by choosing the best doctors and hospitals ... wherever they are.

Dr. Dan Hoernschemeyer is definitely the most extraordinary doctor that we have had the privilege of working with. Most doctors seem like they're in such a hurry, but Dr. Dan makes us feel like Cole is his most important patient. He's comprehensive, candid, and considerate. His bedside manner is second to none.

Our youngest son, Cole, was born in 2001 with blonde hair, blue eyes, and achondroplasia; he's a dwarf. We needed a specialist who had the education, training, and most importantly, the passion for caring about children with dwarfism.

In February 2008, Dr. Dan performed osteotomies on both of Cole's legs. Today, Cole is better because of Dr. Dan and his team. Dr. Dan, the orthopedic team, nurses, and Children's Hospital staff were absolutely incredible during our stay.

We live in the Kansas City metro area and have many choices when it comes to doctors and hospitals in our own backyard. However, we choose to make the 5 hour round trip for every visit to see Dr. Dan. We'll gladly continue to drive to Columbia because The University of Missouri Children's Hospital and Dr. Hoernschemeyer are committed to giving excellent and compassionate care.

I may not know when my kids will get sick, but I do know that Dr. Dan will be there for us when Cole needs him.

-- Cori Anderson (Mom to Cole, 5), Olathe , Ks.

Guy Johnson
My experience with Dr. Anderson has been life changing for Guy, my son, and me. When Guy was diagnosed with clubfoot, it was devastating and scary, to say the least. Dr. Anderson was confident that everything would be just fine and that he and his team would do their best to correct Guy's clubfoot. That same day Dr. Anderson, Kelly Scott and a few staff members started the weekly process of casting his foot and leg. We returned every week for several weeks to get a new cast. I looked forward to seeing everyone each week and I feel as if they looked forward to seeing us as well! Our entire experience with Dr. Anderson and the University was as good as you can get! Guy only goes to the University a few times a year and it saddens me! We''ve grown close with quite a few people and I think about them from time to time and wonder how everyone is doing. Thank you Dr. Anderson, Kelly Scott and everyone who helped my son and me!

Catie Dampf
Dr. Hoernschemeyer: Thank you so much for being such a great doctor for our daughter. Your professionalism and your bedside manner were both excellent. We are thankful Catie was in such careful and skillful hands.

God bless you,

-- Jeff and Michelle Dampf, Jefferson City, Missouri

Millayna Dennis
Dear Dr. Hoernschemeyer:

I would like to thank you personally. I am happy that my back is straight. Everyone I talk to is amazed at what you and your team did, and what has turned out to look like. My scar is healing great. I will see you in January. Thank you!!!!

-- Milllayna Dennis, Jefferson City, Missouri

"My Scoliosis Surgery" - report by Milayna Dennis

I was in P.E. and the nurse came in and explained, "We will be doing scoliosis screenings." The biggest thing that has happened to me is surgery, and in the University of Missouri for six days.

My appointment to check for scoliosis was at the University of Missouri. I was told that my spine was forty-three degrees. My spine was in the shape of an S and I was shocked. "How could I have scoliosis?" I sad. Doctor Hoernschemeyer told me with my degree of scoliosis I only had two options. My first option, was doing nothing, but every year the degree would get bigger. The second option, was having surgery, and the doctor would put a 12" rod in my back. Although we knew there were risks, we did the surgery anyway.

The day came on Tuesday, July 8, 2008. I had to be there at 5:30 a.m. to register for the surgery. I had gotten to say good-bye to my parents, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then the anesthesiologist nurse wheeled me back into a cylinder room, and they gave me a mask, and I fell asleep. It had taken seven hours before I had woken. I felt like I was in a fog.

When I was in recovery, the hospital was interesting. The first two days were hazy. The third day they had gotten me up and got me to sit in a chair. I remember not being able to eat for two and a half days. I also had a lot of visitors and gifts. My favorite gift was the huge jar of candy. The fourth and fifth days, I walked down the hall. The sixth day I was going home, and that day I had 3 IV's pulled out from my neck and arms. Along with my balloon, clothes, and gifts we left the hospital late afternoon.

Recovery at home was hard for the first two weeks. Getting help in the middle of the night, and taking walks without getting tripped by my two dogs, was also hard.

My surgery was a success. The positives of the surgery were a straight body, and I wouldn't have an arched back. The negatives were no bending, no twisting, and no jumping for six months, or more. The biggest thing that has happened to was staying in the University of Missouri hospital for six days and getting surgery. It was a piece of cake.

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