Former Shriners Hospital patient pays it forward after receiving life-changing treatment

It's a hospital known for treating children with special healthcare needs regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

Now in this Positively Houston, one of those kids is all grown up and hoping to give back to Shriners Hospital Houston.


Has someone ever done something so nice for you, you had no idea how you would ever repay them? That's the case for Brittany Smith Tukkinen.

She says Houston's Shriners Hospital for Children gave her life-changing treatment and she wants to try to reciprocate that kindness

"I was in a full-body cast for a long time,” says Smith Tukkinen who was born with a hip socket that didn't fully develop. "I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and when I was six months old a corrective surgery was performed on me by Shriners.

It was a long process to recovery. In fact, once a year Smith Tukkinen went back to Houston's Shriners Hospital for Children, which has played a large role in her life.

"Growing up one of my favorite days of the year was actually to go to Shriners to have my check-up for my hip because they made it so wonderful.


"My mom was a single mom and they were with her every step of the way," Smith Tukkinen said. "They performed the surgery at no cost, and for 18 years I went back every year for a check-up just to make sure my hips were ok".

Now the Conroe-native just opened the "Bells and the Ball Wedding and Special Occasion Consignment Boutique” in The Heights and she's donating a portion of her proceeds to Shriners Hospital which she credits for giving her a gift that made a great difference in her life.

"I was a dancer and a cheerleader in high school. I don't walk with a limp and it's all thanks to Shriners".