Christina’s Story

“I’m a Competitive Cheerleader. The Pain I Was Going Through Affected My Cheering Abilities. I Felt Pain Relief Immediately After Surgery,” Christina said. Dr. Avraham Schlager and Christina’s Family Felt Great About the Outcome.

Christina Horton’s cheerleading career was taking off with competitive cheer and even future Olympic dreams and aspirations until Crohn’s disease threatened to keep her grounded.

“When I was around 12-years-old, I began feeling stabbing pains constantly in my stomach. I would cry and it was just horrible. I’m a competitive cheerleader. The pain I was going through affected my cheering abilities. It stopped me in a way of loving the sport because I would always be in pain. I couldn’t cheer to my full abilities,” Christina said.

Christina’s mother, Michelle Horton, wasted no time in searching for specialists to provide treatment for her daughter’s stomach ailment.

“As her Mom it was really hard watching my child go through all of that pain,” Michelle said.

She searched and found a pediatric gastroenterologist who performed both an endoscopy and colonoscopy to find Crohn’s disease as the culprit of Christina’s pain and suffering.

“We sought out a physician; she went out of her way to find Dr. Avraham Schlager, a pediatric general surgeon. Dr. Schlager had amazing credentials and references. We met Dr. Schlager and just loved him,” Michelle said.

Dr. Schlager met with Christina’s parents at his Palm Beach Children’s Surgical Specialist’s office, presented his treatment option, drew diagrams to explain the disease as well as showed demonstrative models. Christina and her parents decided to move forward with intestinal resection for severe Crohn’s disease, a surgery recommended and offered by Dr. Schlager.

“Dr. Schlager really took the time to explain everything to us in layman’s terms. He made us feel so much better. Dr. Schlager explained to us that Christina’s quality of life would be such an improvement once the diseased part of her colon and intestines were taken out,” Michelle said.

Christina’s surgery was performed at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

“The gastroenterologist did the work-up and diagnosed her with Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. We really believed surgery could offer her something better in this case,” Dr. Schlager said.

After recovery from the surgery, Christina noticed a difference in the way she was feeling.

“I felt pain relief immediately after surgery,” Christina said.

Dr. Schlager and Christina’s family felt great about the outcome.

“This was the right approach for Christina because she had a lot of symptoms of Crohn’s disease that didn’t seem to respond to medical management. When we remove that focal area of intestine, patients generally feel significantly better,” Dr. Schlager said.

Christina and her mother are grateful they found Dr. Schlager, a highly-skilled surgeon.

“Dr. Schlager saved my daughter’s life. I love him and tell him thank you every time I see him. He’s a lifesaver, he really is,” Michelle said.

Dr. Schlager is happy to give Christina and her family the quality of life she had before suffering from this disease.

“It’s great to feel like that you kind of just kind of helped remove another roadblock that was just in the path of somebody who we have every reason to believe is going to be extremely successful in whatever she does,” Dr. Schlager said.

Today, Christina is back to training and taking her cheerleading career to the next level.

“It made me feel hopeful and excited about getting back to the sport I love. Now that surgery’s complete I feel like I’ll be able to get back to cheering and get even better than I was before,” Christina said.