When their son Alex was born, Katie and Ryan stepped into an entirely new world.
“Alex was born with Trisomy 18, which comes with many medical complications,” says Katie. “We came home from the hospital with a feeding tube and respiratory equipment, and we weren’t familiar with any of it. We were in totally over our heads.”
Due to his complex needs, Alex, now three years old, needed even more attention than a typical newborn. Despite their growing knowledge in caring for their son, life was out of balance for the whole family.
“When I first called ChildServe to ask about Homecare services, I was actually in tears. I felt completely overwhelmed.”
The idea of a nurse coming to their house to care for Alex seemed strange at first, but after they began receiving support from the ChildServe Homecare nurses, Katie quickly saw the difference it made for her family.
“When you partner with a nurse who provides expert care and establishes a relationship with your child, they blend into your home and help your life get back to normal. It doesn’t take long before you can’t imagine your life without them.”
One nurse in particular made a special impact on Alex and his family. Chelsea Norris, RN, has served as Alex’s primary Homecare nurse for over a year and half.
“Chelsea has sensed when I’m overwhelmed and offered to take over certain tasks like making calls to order medical supplies and follow up with doctor’s offices. She can tell when Alex is getting sick and knows how to help him when he needs more suction or respiratory support.”
Along with providing medical care, Chelsea practices the home therapy program designed by ChildServe therapists.
“Chelsea does Alex’s therapy exercises with him every day and he tolerates it for longer periods because of how she reads his cues and makes everything a game. Alex has surpassed many milestones that aren’t common for kids with Trisomy 18, and there’s no doubt that Chelsea and his other homecare nurses have been key to helping him move forward to reach these milestones.”
The Homecare nurses at ChildServe go about their work with the knowledge that helping a person may not change the world, but it can change the world for that person. For Katie and Alex’s family, Chelsea’s life-changing care inspired them to nominate her for the prestigious nursing award called the DAISY Award, which Chelsea would go on to win.
“Our lives can carry on with everyone’s needs being met because we have Chelsea,” says Katie. “We just love her so much. She was made for pediatric homecare. Our lives would be very different without her.”
Did you know?
Over 30 ChildServe Homecare Nurses make a difference like this every day. Our Homecare nurses provide care within a 35-mile radius of ChildServe in Johnston. Looking to join our team? We are currently hiring full time, part time, and PRN nurses to help support the growing need for the valuable services we provide.
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 4,500 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries, and other special healthcare needs.