Town throws birthday parade for 8-yr-old BAYADA client

Amy O. describes her youngest son Kristian as full of personality. The eight-year-old is a familiar presence at church, where his passion for singing takes center stage. At home, there’s a good chance you’ll find him playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the piano or banging out a new rhythm on the xylophone or drums.

Client Milestone Spotlight Gabe D. | Pediatric Care

Kristian lives with his parents, two sisters and a brother in Lindstrom, a lake-filled region of eastern Minnesota, where his BAYADA Nurses have become like part of the family. BAYADA Pediatrics has provided in-home nursing care for Kristian ever since he was discharged from the hospital shortly before his first birthday. Born with a rare condition that left him without a rib cage on his right side, Kristian also lives with a seizure disorder.

“He has had 20 surgeries in his short eight years,” said his BAYADA Clinical Manager Anita Bierman, RN, who oversees all aspects of his care. “He’s doing really well now. He needed a tracheostomy and ventilator to breathe for most of his life, but now he can go off the ventilator for 13 hours, and only needs it at night.”

Kristian’s nurses provide care at his home during the overnight hours and accompany him to school where they tend to his medical needs in his first-grade classroom. However, since schools closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he has been forced to stay home.

Kristian really missed his normal routine, so when his birthday came around last month, Amy wanted to do something special to cheer him up. After a friend from church posted on Facebook, the residents of their close-knit, small town decided they were not about to let the COVID-19 crisis stop them from celebrating one of their own.

Client Milestone Spotlight Gabe D. | Pediatric Care

Spearheaded by the local police and fire departments, more than 50 decorated cars filled with neighbors, friends, and yes, many of Kristian’s nurses formed a make-shift parade as they wound their way through town en route to Kristian’s home.

Instead of presents, Amy suggested the parade participants drop off donations for a local food bank. All told, this generous community collected 240 pounds of food in Kristian’s honor.

“We gathered at the top of our driveway to watch the parade go by,” shared Amy. “Kristian was so excited and overwhelmed. It was the best birthday he ever had.”

BAYADA provides pediatric nursing care at home for children from birth through adolescence with a wide range of diagnoses. To learn more, click here >>