Dr. Rachel’s Caring Approach Inspires Young Patient for Career Day

Eliana “Eli” Passos, age 4, chose to dress up as her hand surgeon, Dr. Rachel, for career day.

When Eliana (Eli) Passos had a doctor dress up day at school, there was no question about who she would be. Without hesitation, she said she “wanted to be her hand doctor” – Dr. Nick Rachel.

Eli, age 4, has grown used to seeing doctors regularly. She has Holt-Oram syndrome, which causes hypoplastic, or absent, thumbs and congenital hand defects. Eli’s older sister, Lucy, was born with the same condition. The family was making the 6+ hour drive regularly for treatment at Shriner’s Children Shreveport, until they were referred to Dr. Rachel.

Eli’s outfit was complete with an “official” name badge!

Dr. Rachel began seeing Eli when she was six months old, reassuring the Passos family that he was going to be there for them at every step of the treatment plan for Eli and Lucy. When Eli started seeing Dr. Rachel, she had very little use of her hands. He performed the first surgery on Eli when she was two years old, moving her index finger to make a thumb. He has performed an additional surgery to repair her club wrist and correct some tendons. Eli’s mom, Nicole, is proud to share that Eli is now able to write her name – a task she couldn’t do prior to her surgeries.

Nicole says, “Lucy has great function now and Eli is doing great. She has more function now and can hold onto things.”

Both Eli and her sister still see Dr. Rachel, who continues to monitor their progress. They also love the nurses, front desk, and everyone in the occupational therapy department, where they still have appointments.

“The entire office has gone above and beyond for the girls,” Nicole says. “Whether it’s Dr. Rachel, his nurse Hannah, or our occupational therapist Susan, they have taken really good care of them. I feel like we are in a much better place with her ability to use her hands now.”

Eli doesn’t just like Dr. Rachel as her doctor – he has inspired her for a future in orthopaedics. Currently, if you ask Eli what she wants to be when she grows up, she will tell you “a hand doctor.” We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this bright young girl.

For more than 40 years, patients throughout the Gulf Coast have chosen our orthopaedic doctors at The Orthopaedic Group, P.C., for specialized care in the spine, shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, hip, and knee, and foot and ankle.

Our fellowship-trained doctors have extensive education and experience in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating all orthopaedic injuries and conditions.

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