Mount Sinai Specialists Aid Girl with Crohn’s and an Inflammatory Bone Disease

When Lauren Calvo began showing signs of a gastrointestinal problem at age 11, her parents reached out to friends and family for provider recommendations. The family’s journey led to a half-dozen skilled and caring specialists at Mount Sinai and ended with Lauren feeling happier and healthier.

Lauren’s parents were first directed to gastroenterologist David Dunkin, MD, at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, who diagnosed Lauren with Crohn’s disease and placed her on a medication regimen. Dr. Dunkin connected the family with a clinical dietician, Jessica Gelman, MS, RDN, at the Mount Sinai Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center to review Lauren’s diet and see if there were healthy options for Lauren going forward.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lauren began feeling worse.  She felt pain in many parts of her body. Her parents contacted Dr. Dunkin, who referred them to Rebecca Trachtman, MD, pediatric rheumatologist. The Calvo family was nervous about taking their daughter into a hospital during the pandemic, but they were reassured by Mount Sinai’s strict health protocols.

Dr. Trachtman spent considerable time with the family, listening to everything Lauren had to say. She ran tests and referred Lauren to Cemre Robinson, MD, pediatric endocrinologist and bone specialist.  Dr. Robinson referred the family to Sheena Ranade, MD, a specialist in pediatric orthopedics. In the meantime, Lauren’s pain worsened, which required more testing and led to Dr. Trachtman’s additional diagnosis of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), an inflammatory disease that causes pain and swelling in the bones.

Dr. Trachtman took the time to tell Lauren how fantastic she was and that she was strong and amazing. The family later met with Dr. Ranade, as she discussed the importance of physical therapy. 

Lauren received her first dose of medication at The Mount Sinai Hospital Therapeutic Infusion Center, where she was met by Mackenzie Archer, RN, and Dr. Robinson. Lauren’s experience getting this infusion was more like a playdate than a sad day, Lauren’s mom says. Dr. Robinson surprised Lauren with Mount Sinai’s service dog, “Professor,” who sat with Lauren while she received the infusion.  Lauren is visually impaired and has been looking forward to the day when she can get a guide dog.  She couldn’t contain her happiness and forgot all about her fears of the infusion process. Lauren mentioned she loved to sing, and Jasmine Edward, MA, MT-BC, Creative Arts Therapy Coordinator, played guitar for her.

Today Lauren feels more like herself, as the prescribed medicine is working. Lauren is looking forward to going back for her next infusion; she is no longer afraid.

The Calvo family is highly appreciative of the care Lauren received. “Everyone worked as a team to connect the dots; concerned not only for Lauren, but for us as well. We cannot thank the many doctors we have encountered on our journey over the past year at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital enough.”