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Curtis Testimonial
Brotherston Home Respiratory Treats me Like Family-Curtis
Curtis Lambert
Curtis has lived at home with his family in Philadelphia since 2011. He has a twin sister, Skyler. Curtis had to stay in the NICU for almost 3 months with breathing issues while his sister had no health issues and was able to go home right away.
Curtis went home for less than a month before he was readmitted to the hospital and diagnosed with Tracheomalacia.

Curtis had surgery for a tracheostomy tube and was placed on a ventilator. When Curtis was stable enough to go home, the hospital case manager called Brotherston Home Respiratory to make arrangements for him to be cared for at home. A Respiratory Therapist from Brotherston came to the hospital to evaluate Curtis and meet with his family. The RT explained the process to Curtis’ mom Kristine.

Kristine said she was told by the case manager that she could either take her son home and care for him or place him in a facility. “I told them that a facility is not happening. Curtis is 3 months old and he is coming home with me.” Before the Respiratory Therapist from Brotherston met with Kristine she had a lot of questions and concerns about how she was going to do this once Curtis got home. “I felt like I was gonna be trapped at home,” she said. “Once I saw the equipment and learned about the carry bags and that the equipment has lithium batteries I felt like I could go out every day if I wanted.” The Respiratory Therapists from Brotherston did complete training and set up for the family at the Lambert home with all of the equipment and supplies that Curtis needed. On the day Curtis came home from the hospital the RT from Brotherston was there, making sure the transition went smoothly and answering any questions from the family and nursing. “The first 2 or 3 weeks were a little overwhelming. I had all these people around. By the second month I was confident and in control,” Kristine said as she tended to Curtis.

Now home for over 4 years, Curtis has had some setbacks medically but he is still living with his family at home. They do their best to make sure that Curtis participates in family activities and has as normal a life as he can. When asked about her experience with Brotherston, Kristine said, “When I call Brotherston they know my name. It’s like family. They ask how Curtis is. We work well together.”

Curtis has his own Respiratory Therapist assigned to him from Brotherston. “Paul is my Respiratory Therapist. I have a great relationship with Paul,” Kristine said. “I can get him on the phone at any time. He is so attentive.” If Curtis needs anything Kristine takes action right away. “If I see a problem, I attack it. You have to use all of your resources. I know when I call the office at Brotherston Kate will take care of me. If I need a script, Kate gets it done for me. If my scripts are gonna expire or if I haven’t sent my supply order over, Kate calls me to remind me. If I need something Y’all gonna make it happen,” Kristine said with a smile.

We asked Kristine what she would have done differently when bringing Curtis home from the hospital she said ” I wish I would have had a mentor who has been thru this to tell me about the little things that I needed to know. The hospital doesn’t always tell you everything. I don’t take no for an answer, I fight for what Curtis needs and Brotherston is always there to help me.”

A Trusted Friend at Brotherston Home Respiratory
Mark Melvin

In 2013 Mark started BiPAP therapy after being diagnosed with ALS. The BiPAP machine, used with a face mask would help Mark get fuller and deeper breaths which had become increasingly difficult due to muscle weakness caused by ALS.

A Respiratory Therapist from Brotherston Home Respiratory went to Mark’s house and instructed Mark on how to use his new BiPAP. Mark was also fitted with a face mask. As his needs changed over the next year, Brotherston was there to update the Bi PAP settings.

As Mark’s disease progressed, he had to use his Bi PAP almost 24 hours a day. “My nose was really irritated and I didn’t want to wear the mask 24/7,” Mark said. In 2015 Mark went into the hospital for breathing issues related to ALS. While in the hospital he would have a tracheostomy tube surgically placed and instead of a BiPAP, Mark would use a ventilator to help him breathe. The case manager at the hospital sent the new orders to Brotherston. The RT from Brotherston brought a home ventilator to the hospital for Mark to get acclimated to before he went home. The RT also went to Mark’s house to set up the equipment and instruct his wife on how to use everything. Even though Mark had been home with respiratory equipment before, he wasn’t sure what to expect when he returned home this time. “I was nervous. I wasn’t sure what it would be like at home with a trach.” Even though he was nervous, Mark was ready to go home from the hospital to be with his family. “In the hospital I was constantly being poked and prodded. I had different people taking care of me every day. The care I get at home is much better. I wasn’t allowed to eat by mouth at the hospital and they wouldn’t deflate my trach cuff so I couldn’t talk either.”
When Mark came home from the hospital, a Brotherston Respiratory Therapist was there to make sure everything went well. During his first month home Brotherston made several follow up visits to ensure that he had everything he needed and to reinforce instruction where needed. “Brotherston works with us to solve problems as they come along. You don’t always think of everything until you get home. It’s so different being at home but it’s also more comfortable. More family and friends come to visit me at my home,” Mark said.

We asked Mark what advice he has for new families coming home with respiratory needs he said, “Having a routine is extremely important so things don’t get missed. There’s always new things being added and changed. It took us about 2 months to get a solid routine.”

Mark has been using Brotherston Home Respiratory for over 3 years. When asked how he feels about the service he gets from Brotherston, Mark replied, “Brotherston is very helpful when we have questions. They always have a live person answering their phones. I have good piece of mind that my Respiratory Therapist is just a phone call away. They call me when it’s time to make a supply order and the right stuff comes out every month.”
Steven Smith Testimonial
Celebrating 12 Years at Home with Brotherston Home Respiratory
Steve Smith

30 year old Steven lives at home in West Philadelphia with his family. When he was 16, he was accidentaly shot in the neck by a friend. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a C2-C3 spinal cord injury. He had a tracheostomy tube placed and was put on a ventilator which he would need to help him breathe.

30 year old Steven lives at home in West Philadelphia with his family. When he was 16, he was accidently shot in the neck by a friend. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a C2-C3 spinal cord injury. He had a tracheostomy tube placed and was put on a ventilator which he would need to help him breathe. As a result of his gunshot injury, Steven is paralyzed from the neck down. He was transferred to a rehab hospital to learn how to adapt to life as a quadriplegic.

When he was finished rehabilitation therapy Steven was transferred to a long term care facility that cares for patients with respiratory needs such as tracheostomy and ventilator. Steven’s mom was with him the whole way. “I liked having my mom by my side. She never left my side. My mom is my backbone,” Steven said. “We still have arguments but at the end of the day she is always there for me.”

If Steven was going home, there were several obstacles to overcome. He would need housing that could accommodate his power wheelchair, a medical equipment and supply company as well as nursing care. The case manager at the facility called Brotherston after Steven had housing. The Respiratory Therapist from Brotherston visited the facility and Steven’s home to get all the equipment and supplies in place. “I was naive about how things would go at home. I was so excited and I wasn’t worried”. The respiratory staff from Brotherston worked closely with Steven and his family to train and prepare them to use the ventilator and other equipment.

When Steven came home, a Respiratory Therapist from Brotherston was there to make sure the transition went smoothly. “It was really weird seeing the ventilator and hospital bed in my room. All different people were coming in and out every day. It was a big transition. It took me a couple of months before I felt comfortable,” Steven said.

When asked about his relationship with Brotherston Home Respiratory Steven said “My needs are always taken care of, I’m not left hanging. I have a good relationship with all the Respiratory Therapists at Brotherston.”

He went on to say, “I am always loyal to a company that takes care of me.” Steven has to call on several healthcare entities to help him with his life at home. Transportation, nursing, doctors and pharmacy. “I call other places and I have to leave a voice mail and wait for a call back. I like that Brotherston has a live person pick up the phone. I also have the cell number of my Respiratory Therapist so I can call him directly. The customer service people are kind and they know me. Other places make me call my doctor to get prescriptions and forms filled out. Brotherston does all that for me. When I need a piece of equipment checked, Brotherston comes out the same day. A lot of other places don’t do that.”

Steven Smith is a mentor for new patients at the rehabilitation center. Steven goes to local schools to talk to kids about gun violence. He started his own website and soon will host his own podcast. “When I mentor people who are paralyzed, the first thing they ask is how can I get to where you’re at and what gives you the confidence to go on with life? I say that it takes patience to get where I’m at. In the hospital, you don’t have as much control over your own needs like suctioning and what foods you can eat. I am always most comfortable when I have my family around me.”

Steven was asked about the 12 years he has been with Brotherston he said, “In the beginning Brotherston gave me a better idea of what I was getting myself into. I trust Brotherston. I know I have the choice to go to another company if I am not happy but I have never had a reason to want to switch. I have never been disappointed by the people at Brotherston. I feel comfortable with Brotherston. Y’all good people!”