Jayden Believes in MAGEC

At just five years old, Jayden Ortiz’s life took a dramatic turn. The young Reedley native was among several children in California suddenly stricken by a mystery illness that causes polio-like paralysis.

“Within 24 hours, Jayden became paralyzed,” Jayden’s mom, Synthia, said.

Jayden was diagnosed with enterovirus D68, one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses, which compromised his respiratory function and resulted in him needing a tracheostomy and ventilator to help his breathing, a gastrostomy tube to help him take in food and pediatric rehabilitation therapy to increase his mobility. It also left him with severe curvature of his spine: scoliosis.

Jayden’s orthopaedic specialist recommended a groundbreaking treatment for scoliosis. FDA-approved in February 2014, the MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) Spinal Bracing and Distraction System is the only noninvasive, distraction-based technology available worldwide for these young patients.

In 2015, Jayden became Central California’s first patient to receive the innovative treatment, which would help Jayden avoid the need for repeated, invasive and spine-lengthening treatments. Conventional growing rods require eight to 10 spine-lengthening surgeries during a child’s growing years. After the initial surgery, the painless MAGEC device enables surgeons to straighten the spine gradually and noninvasively.

To correct Jayden’s scoliosis, Valley Children’s orthopaedic surgeons first surgically inserted an adjustable rod in his spine. That procedure dramatically decreased his spine curvature from 50 degrees to 20 degrees. At Jayden’s first lengthening procedure, his orthopaedic surgeon lightly ran the MAGEC device along his back to sync with the rod and pull it four millimeters. To keep up with normal spine growth and maintain the curve correction, Jayden will undergo the brief procedure every three months or so until he’s a teen. The traditional approach would have called for surgically lengthening his growing rod every six months.

Now nine years old, Jayden maintains the same positive attitude that’s driven him through the past several years.

“Jayden never complained about anything,” Jessie Ortiz, Jayden’s dad, said. “When someone asked, ‘Why did this happen?’ Jayden said, ‘Only God knows why.’ He’s been so mature in how he’s handled this.”

Learn more about how Valley Children’s helps kids like Jayden fight scoliosis

Valley Children’s dedicated team of board-certified pediatric orthopaedic surgeons and physiatrists identify and treat a wide range of orthopaedic and muscular conditions, aimed at helping kids like Jayden increase their mobility so they can have the confidence to chase their dreams.