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Testimonials

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.”

I’m Glad I Made the Switch to Brotherston Home Respiratory
Emily Armstrong
Emily lives at home with her Mom Lisa and 4 sisters Jessica, Sara, Samantha & Kathryn. She has a rare chromosomal disorder which meant she needed some assistance with daily activities and was unable to talk.
“She had a special, non-verbal communication with me,” Lisa said. She was happy at home with her loving family. late in 2015 Emily had an illness that landed her in the hospital. She went into septic shock, had a silent pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest which required 45 minutes of CPR and resulted in an anoxic episode. Emily would never be the same. She had a tracheostomy tube and a feeding tube surgically placed which required her to go home with medical equipment to meet her respiratory and nutritional needs. Lisa was determined to get her daughter home and said she was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. “The girls were all on board too. There was no other thought but to get her home,” Lisa said when she was asked if she considered any other options for Emily. One of the many decisions she had to make was choosing a medical equipment provider. “I had no idea what to even look for. I was given two brochures and just picked one, thinking they were all the same in what they do · deliver medical equipment and supplies.”
Emily came home in early March with her family who would care for her and her new medical needs along with help from her Home Nursing agency. But, Lisa didn’t feel like she had everything she needed for Emily. “I found that I had so many questions about equipment, alarms going off, oxygen saturation dropping, heart rate fluctuating. It was a whole new world and felt like I was navigating a new road and so unsure of myself. My nurses were wonderful but I felt like a piece was missing.”

It wasn’t until weeks later, after Emily was home that Lisa would realize that she needed much more than just a company to send her medical equipment and supplies. “I never thought my equipment company was pa rt of the team or part of the inner circle,” she said.

In August, Emily was back in the hospital due to some respiratory issues. Emily would now need a ventilator at home and another machine called an IPV. Lisa said, “Things were less stable with Emily now. We felt even more vulnerable. I felt scared about the whole process.” The case manager told Lisa that her current equipment provider could not get an IPV machine for Emily and the doctor wouldn’t let her go home without it. That’s when Cathy, Emily’s home Clinical Manager called Brotherston Home Respiratory.

Lisa had a different experience when she met with Brotherston. “The Respiratory Therapist came to meet me at the hospital and instantly put my mind at ease. I felt like I was talking to a friend. He was a person that had clinical experience and empathy. He took me by the hand and made me think ‘I got this’. He told me about the personal service they provide. A live person answers the phone when you call, they are always available to answer questions. They know their patients.”
Emily received the ventilator and I PV machine that she needed and switched to Brotherston for all of her other equipment and supply needs as well. “The RT came in and spent time with us. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him if I had any questions or issues. That is invaluable to me, a direct line to the company. With my previous company I felt like there was such a disconnect. Emails not answered, left on hold, no call back. At Brotherston they answer the phone. I have a customer service person assigned to me. I have my own personal Respiratory Therapist!” Lisa said. “I need someone I can call on and this was an invaluable piece that was missing. I didn’t realize that until I was introduced to Brotherston.” Lisa said to herself, “OH, this is how it’s supposed to be! I didn’t know that this void in my team was supposed to be filled by my equipment company.” Her previous equipment company had only been delivering supplies and equipment. It was very cold and business like, not very personal. Lisa says “Brotherston is personable and friendly. I am glad to call them. They take pride in their work.” Lisa said she likes the fact that Brotherston backs up what they say with answers. “They (the RTs) are educators. Not just solving problems but educating us. They spend time getting to know Emily and talking with me, genuinely happy to answer to questions and educate me and my nurses. They encourage questions:’

When asked what advice she would give a family that was faced with the challenge of bringing a loved one home, Lisa said, “If you are dedicated to bringing this person home you can do it. You can do it with a lot less stress if you put the right team together. Brotherston should be a part of that team. They will be there as long as you need them. Anytime, day or night.”
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 www.sup4S.com 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!”