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The Ezell Twins

By on Apr 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Ezell Twins   As a company that provides private duty nursing (PDN) for high acuity medically fragile children, Pediatric Home Healthcare understands that each child has very special needs regarding their care. Having someone who is initially a “stranger” in your home is often difficult for families who are unaccustomed to home health nursing. As families begin to open up and learn to trust, they often find that their nurses become a part of their family.   Emmett and Owen Ezell were born conjoined from the bottom of their breastbone to their hipbone. They also shared a liver and intestines. When they were just 6 weeks old, doctors were able to separate them during a marathon-long 9-hour surgery. After nine months in the hospital, they experienced fresh air and sunlight for the first time! They then went to a rehabilitation center before finally heading home, for good.   Pediatric Home Healthcare has had the privilege to be with the Ezell family for years. The Ezells researched for a long time before choosing an agency.  They wanted a company that clearly made the patient and family a top priority. Dave, Emmett and Owen’s dad, believes that, “Our family would be at a standstill without the nurses from Pediatric Home Healthcare.  Having two special needs children in one family increases our struggles exponentially.  Were it not for the help of the well-trained nurses that work with our boys, I can say without a hint of hyperbole, we wouldn’t be able to get through a day.”   The twins came home with a tracheostomy after 9 months in the hospital. Regarding working with PHH, Dave said, “I think they understand the struggle of managing a family with special needs children who need PDN and they try to make the process as headache-free as possible.” As they grew, they relied less and less on equipment to breathe and are both currently trach-free. They have begun talking, as well! Mom, Jenny, is a speech therapist and admits that it is difficult to separate being a mom from being a therapist. However, knowing where it all started, she is able to put it all into perspective. The twins are now over 3.5 years old. They are running, jumping, falling, driving their toy cars, learning to talk, and rough-housing like most boys their age. When asked about what sets their nurses apart, Dave responded, “By sending the boys cards and presents at holidays and birthdays, they demonstrate their real affection for the boys.  By making themselves easily available for contact anytime of the day or night, they demonstrate their  commitment to the care of their patients, and patient’s families.  When we had struggles with the school district who didn’t want to allow the boys’ nurses to attend school with them, PHH advocated for us with the district. The list goes on and on.”   The Ezells know that they the hardest days are behind them. Their boys continue to grow strong. Dave said, “At every new hurdle, we’ve been able to rest easy knowing that we’d be able to rely on the commitment and experience of PHH.” One of the best days as a nursing company comes when patients no longer need them. PHH looks forward to having a graduation ceremony with Emmett and Owen soon!      ...

Should I add my Child to Interest Waiting Lists?

By on Apr 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Should I add my Child to Interest Waiting Lists?   This is a question many parents ask themselves when their child is first diagnosed with physical and mental health care needs or a disability. Many of the waiver programs have a very long waiting list. As of the writing of this article some of the programs have a list up to 10+ years.   The waiver list is just that, a list that you put your child on in case they ever need the services. When they get to the top of the waiver interest list, eligibility will be determined. Many families feel like their child will not qualify due to their income, keep in mind when your child reaches 18 they are an adult. Once they are out of school and continue to need some time in a day program it will cost money.  Even if you feel like your child will be able to live and work independently you should put them on the waiting lists.   Below is a list of the Texas Medicaid Waivers and a brief description. You will find their phone numbers in the Resource Directory of Exceptional Kids, listed under Medicaid Waiver Programs:   Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS): gives home and community-based supports to people with related conditions.   Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD): gives services for people who are deaf-blind or have a related condition that leads to deaf-blindness, and who have another disability.   Home and Community-based Services (HSC): gives services and supports to people with intellectual disability (ID) or a related condition who live with their families, in their own homes, or in small group homes with no more than 4 beds.   Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP): gives services to families caring for children and young adults as an alternative to receiving services in a nursing facility.   Texas Home Living (TxHmL): gives services to people with an intellectual disability (ID) or a related condition who live in their home or their family’s home.   Youth Empowerment Services (YES): gives home and community-based services to children who otherwise would need psychiatric inpatient care or whose parents would turn to state custody for care.   Also, here are a couple of resources that have been very helpful, I pulled some of the information for this article from  www.navigatelifetexas.org.  The ARC of San Antonio (210) 490-4300, who provided a list of these resources have been wonderful in helping parents understand the benefits and services these programs provide. Once you add your child to these list, request a letter or email confirmation.   Kameron Chicoine, Publisher of Exceptional Kids Magazine            ...

Along Came Alyssa

By on Jun 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Along came Alyssa As a pediatric home health agency, we believe that all kids are truly exceptional. This is especially true of the children we are lucky enough to work with on a daily basis. Alyssa is one of these amazing kids. Alyssa was born with a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow all over her body. She was not expected to live past the age of two, and it has not been an easy road for her. A few years ago, she developed a large inoperable brain tumor. The only treatment at the time was chemotherapy, but doctors had to end those treatments after discovering that the tumor had grown instead of shrunk. Her family did not give up. They visited many doctors until coming across one who suggested an experimental treatment using lasers to destroy the tumor cells. This treatment had never before been done, and there was only a fifty percent chance that she would make it off the table. Thankfully, the surgery worked. It has now been two and a half years since the procedure, and regular check-ups haven’t shown any signs of the tumor re-growing. Thanks to Alyssa and her bravery, that treatment is now approved for all patients. Even after the successful treatment, Alyssa requires around the clock, highly skilled nursing care. For a while, her family had a difficult time finding a home health agency that could accommodate those needs. However, we are happy to report that Alyssa has thrived in the time she has been with our agency. Last year she graduated from high school. This year she turns 21. We are honored to have Alyssa as part of our family at San Rafael Healthcare and are excited to see what the future has in store for her. Even though she is technically an adult now, she will always be one of our exceptional kids! To learn more about San Rafael Healthcare and the services we provide, please call us at (210) 255-1466 or visit our website at...

Asthma is a chronic condition

By on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Asthma is a chronic condition marked by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. It usually starts in childhood. Asthma is very common. It afflicts more than 25 million people. About 7 million of them are children. An asthma action plan helps you and the school system manage your child’s asthma. It’s a legal document used by school nurses. The plan is specific to your child and describes his or her symptoms, what medicines are prescribed for everyday use, and what medications to give and what to do in case of emergency. If grandparents or other caregivers spend a lot of time with the child, they should have a copy of the plan too. Many schools use an Asthma Action Plan form developed by the South Texas Asthma Coalition. It is available on the Texas Department of State Health Services web site and is organized by the colors of a traffic light — green, yellow and red. Similar to traffic lights, green means go, yellow means caution and red means danger. Green: This part of the plan applies when your child’s breathing is good, with no coughing or wheezing. His or her asthma is under good control, and if your child’s asthma is well-managed it should be in the green zone most of the time. The asthma action plan will list medications they take daily to prevent an asthma attack, the dosages and when to take them — before exercise, for example. Yellow: This applies when a child is having symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or a tight chest. It prescribes how to use quick-relief medicines to help your child breath more easily and prevent the asthma attack from worsening. Red: Provides direction when quick-relief medicines aren’t working and your child is having difficulty breathing and/or continues to wheeze. If your child’s symptoms aren’t improved with quick-acting medications, then it is recommended that he or she is seen by a doctor. The South Texas Pediatric Lung Center at University Health System has launched a new online tool for parents, an asthma symptoms profiler that can help you understand your child’s asthma, how well it’s controlled and how to avoid what his or her particular triggers are.   For full article http://healthfocussa.net/uncategorized/a-plan-of-action-for-your-childs-asthma/ Dr. Donna Beth Willey-Courand is director of the South Texas Pediatric Lung Center at University Health System, and chief of the Pediatric Pulmonology Division at the UT Health Science Center Photo by Mark Greenberg...

Pet Allergies – Is it your pets hair?

By on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Did you know that no matter what breed of ‪#‎dog‬ you have, whether short hair or long hair, doesn’t affect your ‪#‎allergies‬? That’s right! The main culprits that cause allergies are dander, saliva, and urine. Of course none of this can keep us away from pups, especially one as lovable and sweet as Dingo! He swung by the office today with his 86 year old boss in tow to give us a big hello! And of course, to remind us that allergies should never be a reason to keep us away from our furry children. Provided by Dr. Gligoric, MD, Board Certified Pediatric & Adult Allergies...

How to Tell if Your Child Struggles With Learning

By on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Research has proven that early intervention is the best means of helping a child succeed in school. Take the time to carefully observe your child and talk to his doctor or teacher if you notice anything concerning. Although every child’s development is unique, there are several general indicators that a child may struggle with learning.  Ask yourself these questions: Does he know the days of the week, shapes, colors, numbers, and letters? Can he tell the difference between left and right? Before and after? Yesterday and tomorrow? First and last? Is his speech late to develop? Does he have difficulty with rhyming words and correctly pronouncing words? Can he follow simple sets of directions? Are his fine motor skills adequate? Can he button, cut, catch a ball, and zip? Can he perform gross motor activities such as jumping, skipping, running, and kicking a ball? Does he fall down a lot? Helping kids with disabilities in school is one of our areas of focus at Exceptional Kids. Our blog is designed to be a resource for families and educators where we share timely and relevant information, activities, and news...