WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Jeremiah Cardona, 14, is continuing to stand tall after undergoing a procedure to correct his scoliosis nine years ago.

Cardona, who is from Weslaco, underwent the procedure at Driscoll Children’s Hospital at the age of five, according to a press release from Driscoll’s Children’s Hospital.

Before the procedure, Cardona was having trouble sleeping and lying down.

“He was not a regular little kid,” said Sochic Contreras, Jeremiah’s mom in the release. “He would cry all the time. Everything hurt. He didn’t even know where the hurting came from. He just knew it hurt and it hurt everywhere.”

Cardona was born with a condition called congenital scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine.

Jeremiah Cardona and his mother, Sochic Contreras

The scoliosis caused his hips to be misaligned, with one leg longer than the other, the release said.

Cardona received a diagnosis at the age of three, and later met with Christopher Comstock, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Driscoll Children’s Hospital to undergo the corrective procedure.

“We had to treat Jeremiah’s congenital scoliosis with surgery from both the front and back of his spine on the same day,” said Dr. Comstock in the release. “This was quite an extensive operation for such a young boy but he and his family handled it all beautifully.”

Cardona said the procedure improved his quality of life.

“It helped with the curvature. After a while, I learned how to walk again and it helped a lot. I was able to sleep better,” Cardona said in the release.