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Jacob’s Story

Jacob’s Story

A ventilator-dependent baby joins his siblings at home after chronic respiratory failure

As Jacob cuddles up on his grandfather’s lap at home, he seems like any other happy child. But if not for the work of PromptCare, the ventilator-dependent toddler would not have had the opportunity to live his life at home and make significant progress.

Triplets Jacob, Lindsey, and Caitlyn were born via Caesarean section at a New Jersey hospital. Though everything appeared fine at first, the joyous occasion was overshadowed by Jacob’s plummeting oxygen levels, and he was soon diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and chronic respiratory failure.

While his sisters were healthy enough to leave the hospital at five weeks, Jacob had to remain in another county 80 miles from his family’s home. Three months later, he was moved to another hospital, only 10 miles closer to his family.

Though Jacob’s grandparents moved into the family home to help care for Lindsey, Caitlyn, and their two-year-old brother, Jimmy, the long commuting hours took their toll on the family.

“We had to drive back and forth every day to see Jacob,” said Carolyn, Jacob’s mother. “It was especially difficult because I had two newborns at home that I would only see early in the morning because they were asleep by the time my husband and I returned late at night. It was a challenge for every member of the family.”

Jacob’s parents were determined to improve the quality of life for their family and worked closely with hospital social workers to determine if they could safely care for Jacob at home.

“I knew Jacob would progress better with the one-on-one attention he would receive at home, as long as I was given the appropriate clinical support,” said Carolyn. “Jacob wants to keep up with all of his siblings and responds so well to all of their interactions, which I feel inspires him to become stronger.”

The family’s in-network providers denied their request to bring Jacob home, so the Blythedale Children’s Hospital Social Work Department reached out to Randy Matthews, PromptCare’s Vice President of Pediatric Respiratory, who was able to obtain out-of-network authorization from the family’s health plan. PromptCare began to assemble the many clinical supplies needed for Jacob to transition to home, including two ventilators, an oxygen concentrator, a pulse oximeter, a portable suction machine, and tracheostomy supplies, among other medical equipment.

Finally, more than six months after Jacob’s birth, he came home to his family.

A year later, Jacob is a constant source of joy. Though he is smaller in stature than his sisters, he’s thriving every day with the help of his nurses, a dedicated team of physicians, and the love and support of his family.

Jacob’s mom said being at home has made a dynamic difference in Jacob’s progress. He is currently being weaned off his ventilator and is only on it every other night. Jacob also wears a trach collar with a Passy-Muir valve, which allows him to speak and eat one of his favorite snacks, Cheerios!

“What we wanted most was to be at home with all our children and to make our family whole again. PromptCare gave us the opportunity we were looking for.”

Carolyn, Jacob’s Mother

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June 28, 2023