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.”
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.
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.”