BAYADA Stories - Small Miracles Happen Every Day for Isaiah and His Family
Like most typical 2-year old boys, Isaiah M. is full of energy. He is happiest outdoors, where a neighborhood park holds the promise of fun-filled afternoons of climbing, riding his scooter, playing catch, and keeping up with his 4-year old brother Josiah.
However, unlike boys his age, Isaiah has been through numerous surgeries in his young life, all to treat the multiple congenital anomalies that affected nearly every part of his tiny body.
Isaiah’s mother, Joy, considers every day a miracle with her little boy, who was not expected to survive past birth. An ultrasound at 23 weeks gestation revealed that Isaiah had a hole in his heart, fluid in his brain, no gallbladder, a blockage in his intestine, a displaced right kidney, and a deformed left arm.
“My husband Chris and I were planning a funeral for him,” shares Joy. “All we could do was ask people to pray.”
However, Isaiah beat the odds. Following his birth, he spent 3 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit before Joy and Chris brought him home. By the time he celebrated his first birthday, he had surgeries to unblock his intestines, an appendectomy, a hernia repair, and ear tubes to correct significant hearing loss. In addition, severe reflux and pain prevented him from gaining weight, so his doctors recommended a feeding tube.
“Isaiah was born without thumbs, his right hand only had a nub where his thumb should be,” explains Joy. “A hand specialist performed complex surgery to shorten his right index finger and rotate it into a thumb position.”
Joy, whose training as a pediatric nurse prepared her for many different scenarios, was still overwhelmed by the level of care required for her little boy. She humbly had to admit that she and her husband could not handle it alone. She and Chris are eternally grateful for the nurses from BAYADA Pediatrics who they consider their heroes.
According to Joy, the compassion the nurses have for Isaiah is equal to their clinical ability to manage his complex medical needs. The area on Isaiah’s stomach where physicians inserted the feeding tube never heals, and requires ongoing wound care management by the nurses. What’s more, despite the feeding tube, Isaiah still throws up at least once a day, making it difficult for him to gain weight. In partnership with his rehabilitation therapists, the nurses help him learn how to chew and swallow his food. They also help with physical, occupational, and speech therapy, including exercises to improve range of motion, balance, and fine motor skills.
What’s more, a diagnosis of asthma, coupled with his other medical needs, leaves Isaiah prone to illness. His nurses monitor his health, looking for the earliest signs of infection, and work with his physicians to administer the medical care needed to prevent serious illness that could lead to hospitalization.
Isaiah’s main care team, BAYADA Nurses Chris Pacifico, RN, Joanne Thompson, RN, and Bev Oliver, LPN, have truly made a difference in his life. In addition to their clinical expertise, they can be found snuggling with their young client and rocking him to sleep, singing to him, reading books, making up stories, helping him learn his ABCs, and teaching him how to dress himself. What’s more, they will often go the extra mile and research aspects of Isaiah’s condition, so that they can provide him with the best possible care.
“People who do not have a special needs child just don’t understand how hard it can be,” says Joy. “BAYADA is a huge support for my family and me, and the nurses are amazing. I don’t ever want them to leave.”
To learn more about BAYADA Pediatrics, click here or call 888-4-BAYADA.
The following are additional resources for families caring for a child with special needs.