Shriners Hospitals for Children—Canada gives Frédéric the gift of movement


Photo © Courtesy of Shriners

Global Heroes 002 - September 2020 - Shriners_Shriners Logo

Frédéric is a strong, animated 9-year-old boy and patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada. Frédéric is also a fighter. He is the sole survivor of triplets and weighed only 1.4 pounds when he was born. After Frédéric’s birth, his family remained at his bedside in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at The Ottawa Hospital. The first 30 days of his life were met with many obstacles—including three code pinks (requiring resuscitation).

“[Frédéric] suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and couldn’t take in enough oxygen to breathe on his own; we didn’t have much hope, it was such a tough time,” recounts Jean-Mathieu, Frédéric’s father. “Once spring came around and we were finally able to leave the hospital, we still had to have a constant oxygen supply with us.” Frédéric also had to wear a full-body brace (a Spica cast) 23 hours a day, for 12 weeks.

005 Shriners
Photo © Courtesy of Shriners
005 Shriners
Photo © Courtesy of Shriners

After two years, Frédéric’s health began to stabilize. His parents were able to start focusing on the cerebral palsy that came as a result of Frédéric’s hemorrhage. They invested much of their time in occupational therapy and physiotherapy. At the age of three, after countless hours of hard work and determination, Frédéric took his first steps with the help of a magnificent gold-coloured walker. Frédéric was still having some trouble with his left side, the side affected by cerebral palsy. This was when he met Dr. Thierry Benaroch at the Canada Shriners Hospital. Frédéric needed a unique orthotic to prevent him from walking on the tip of his toes, as well as three Botox treatments. Additionally, on January 21, 2021, Dr. Benaroch did a procedure to lengthen Frédéric’s Achilles heel to help him walk.

Frédéric is an inspiration to everyone around him, including his big brother and role model, Theo, who always looks out for him. He has never let anything get in his way of having fun, making people laugh, and achieving his goals. He can walk or bike the 1.3 km to get to school, he can sing, he can dance, and he can perform in his musical theatre group L’Artishow. There are still some challenges that Frédéric faces on a daily basis, but with the right care and the right attitude, anything is possible.

To learn more about our hospital and the exceptional patients we treat, visit

Shriners' Stories

Get your free copy of Global Heroes, jam-packed with positive news, straight in your inbox.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.


Subscribe to our Newsletter and Access all issues of Global Heroes News straight in your inbox. 100% free, no purchase necessary, for life. Uplifting stories, highlighting the inspirational efforts of everyday people, celebrities, and organizations, who are diligently working together towards practical solutions to global problems.