Ella is outgoing, a hard worker, loves school, the color pink and dancing. Born at just 27 weeks, Ella was diagnosed with fetal growth restriction, a condition in which the unborn baby is not growing at a normal rate. When she was 2 weeks old, she suffered a brain bleed and was subsequently diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a softening of brain tissue due to her brain bleed. PVL has no cure and affects the nerve cells that control motor movements and occurs most often in babies who are born before 30 weeks. When she was 2 years old, her therapists recommended a visit with T.S. Park, MD, a Washington University physician who specializes in treating children with cerebral palsy using selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) at St. Louis Children’s. After meeting with Dr. Park, 2-year-old Ella was approved for SDR and has been a patient at St. Louis Children’s Hospital ever since.