Charlie’s Telehealth Journey

Telehealth services have made a world of difference for Charlie and his family. From climbing on his family’s couch for the first time to playing on his family’s jungle gym, Charlie has achieved leaps and bounds towards his goals by bringing his ChildServe physical therapist, Abby Hammond, virtually into his home.

This progress is especially meaningful to Charlie and his family because of the complex medical needs he faced so early on in his life. At 6 days old, Charlie was hospitalized with blood poisoning and hypothermia. As an infant, he wasn’t making nutritional gains or hitting milestones. Charlie was hospitalized two more times before he was 9 months old.

Despite these life-threatening experiences, Charlie has continued to fight and inspire many along the way. Telehealth, along with many appointments and therapy sessions at ChildServe, has played a key role in Charlie’s success in overcoming developmental delays affecting his movement.

“Abby coached me virtually on how to support Charlie while climbing up different structures in our home,” said Charlie’s mom Nancy. “First, we began on our stairs, then we moved to climbing up our couch.”

One of Nancy’s biggest goals for Charlie was to play with his big sister and neighborhood friends on their family’s backyard jungle gym.

“With Abby’s support within several therapy sessions, we were able to help Charlie climb the rock staircase,” said Nancy. “With more coaching we got him to crawl through the tunnel, something he refused to do. Every time we had a telehealth session he made it a little further up into the jungle gym.

“None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for telehealth therapy services. Now, we can play in our backyard as a family and that is a dream come true for us.”

For Abby, telehealth has allowed her to create a special relationship with the family and has helped her understand Charlie’s needs.

“At the end of one telehealth session, Charlie and his sister were able to play together and they both went down the slide for the first time,” said Abby. “It was so rewarding to help his family figure out how to make their new equipment work for them!”

Telehealth therapy enables more interaction between parents and their child, creating a  unique bond as they grow and progress through goals together.

“I’ve seen Nancy improve her confidence in her own ability to help Charlie,” says Abby. “With telehealth, I get to coach families on how to best help their kids reach those gross-motor milestones.”

Through telehealth, Abby gets an inside look at the obstacles Charlie and his family face at home and work on problem-solving together.

“The way she walks through life one day at a time with a smile and an upbeat attitude is something I strive to do every day to be a better person,” Heather said. “Sometimes things that happen in life aren’t fair, especially to children, but our family is forever grateful for the services and staff at ChildServe and what they’ve done for our daughter.”

“Having telehealth in our home has been game-changing,” said Nancy. “We spend so much time in our home and that is where most of our challenges occur. With telehealth therapy, we can address those challenges in real-time. I get instantaneous feedback from the therapist allowing us to collaboratively problem-solve solutions.”

Learn more about telehealth at ChildServe in the video below.

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ChildServe improves the health and well-being of 5,200 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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