Helping a young mother remain part of the family
Donna and Larry believe that nothing is impossible when it comes to family. After their daughter, Laurie, suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her on a ventilator, the couple faced the challenge of caring for Laurie and raising her young son. They found their advocate in PromptCare.
In 1996, Laurie was traveling home with her husband and six-week-old son when they were involved in a horrific motor vehicle collision. Laurie suffered a broken pelvis and a traumatic brain injury that resulted in the complete loss of her short-term memory. The new mother could not even remember giving birth and struggled to connect with her infant son.
After a lengthy rehabilitation requiring learning again to walk, talk, and grasp the basics of daily living, Laurie was making progress. But in 2000, the family was again devastated when Laurie was involved in a second motor vehicle crash and suffered another brain injury.
“We wondered how something like this could happen to our child—not only once, but twice.”Donna, Laurie’s Mother
Laurie underwent yet another brain surgery to release the pressure on her brain. The young mother never regained consciousness.
After six weeks in intensive care, Laurie’s care team transferred her to the same rehabilitation hospital where she recovered after her first accident. At this point, she was a quadriplegic and required feeding tubes. She eventually was transferred home where her parents cared for her. During this time, Laurie suffered many complications faced by quadriplegics, including pneumonia and other respiratory issues.
“We did the best we could, and life went on,” said her mom. “We were raising our grandson now and Laurie was able to be with her son.”
But soon the inevitable happened—severe pneumonia in Laurie’s lungs weakened her already-fragile immune system and she was taken to the hospital in respiratory distress. To secure an airway, doctors performed an emergency tracheotomy.
“We knew she would never breathe completely on her own again,” said Donna.
Despite the additional challenge of caring for Laurie on a ventilator, her parents were determined to keep their family together. “We knew we needed to bring Laurie home and care for her there,” said Laurie’s father. “PromptCare made this possible.”
Christine Keating, B.S., RRT, PromptCare Respiratory Clinical Liaison, stepped in to handle the transition.
“The biggest challenge was learning to navigate through the insurance system,” said Donna. “Christine took control of the situation and assured a safe and smooth transition home for Laurie. It was such a relief—she took it completely off my plate.”
The family also received training from Kristen Phillips, RRT, PromptCare Respiratory Therapist, who taught Laurie’s parents how to care for their daughter on the ventilator.
“If you are going to care for a family member on life support, you have to be determined to make it work,” said Laurie’s mom. “And no one is as sold on home care as I am.” Larry agreed. “PromptCare has allowed us to take Laurie’s care to the next level,” he said.
Laurie’s parents said the best part about having Laurie at home is that it allows her to be a true part of the family. The family goes to church, has picnics, and spends time outdoors—and Laurie shares these experiences with them.
“You have to ask yourself how far you are willing to go for your loved ones,” said her father. “Family takes care of family at all cost. No barrier is unsurmountable if you are determined to overcome it.”
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