Holidays are such a special time of the year, meant for spending quality time with family and friends, enjoying the traditions, and being thankful for the memories you make with those you love most. And for children, this time of year is the most magical as they revel in the lights, treats, and gifts. But most importantly, no matter how old you are, we can all agree that the holidays are best spent when you get to enjoy in the holiday cheer in the coziest place of all: at home.
Unfortunately some people don’t have the ability to be at home with their family and friends during this special time of year due to complex medical conditions, which has forced them to be cared for in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or nursing homes. And for many, these facilities are the only option for them to receive the critical they need to remain safe and healthy. But it doesn’t have to be this way for many Americans thanks to in-home care that is provided from skilled nurses, home health aides, clinicians, and caregivers — especially for medically fragile children who need to be with their family during this precious time.
Leena, Greyson, and Nadiya are all thriving at home with their family and friends despite their complex medical diagnoses thanks to their dedicated team of in-home caregivers. These children get to experience all the traditions of the holiday season at home like putting up holiday decorations, making sweet treats, and spending quality time with their loved ones — all of which they would be unable to do if they were being care for in a facility. Home care gives them the freedom and independence to make lasting memories in their communities just like other kids their age.
Here’s a look at how home care is helping these children live their best lives all while being home for the holidays!
Leena Stull: Chambersburg, PA
Leena Stull is making huge strides thanks to her skilled and compassionate in-home nurses who care for her and ensure there are always smiles! Leena came home from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) NICU at nine months old after a two-month delayed discharge due to the home nursing shortage. At that time, Leena was on a ventilator and trach 24/7. Now, at four years old, Leena is running, jumping, talking — and even learning to swim. She no longer needs a ventilator or trach, and she successfully had surgery to close her fistula in November 2022!
“Leena’s nurses have become members of the family. “They are just as heavily invested in her physical and mental success and growth as my husband and I are.” — mother, Alexis Stull
Nadiya Pelovitz: Severn, MD
18 year old Nadiya has life threatening seizures and multiple complex disabilities caused by a rare genic disease. She relies on night nursing to keep her safe. But thanks to her nurses, Nadiya is able to grow up in the comfort of her home.
“We are forever grateful for nursing. It is a lifesaving and essential support that has made a difference for Nadiya and the rest of us. So, to Tori and all the other amazing nurses who have been on Nadiya’s case and made a difference, we are forever grateful. We know how hard you work and that you are called to this important work. We want you to know you make a tremendous difference every day.” — mother, Jill Pelovitz
Greyson: North Carolina
Greyson started having health problems at five months old and was diagnosed with lennox-gastaut syndrome, which is an epileptic disorder. Now five years old, Greyson relies on 24/7 skilled nursing to keep him safe as he continues to have complex seizures, but he gets to experience life to the fullest thanks to his primary nurse, April Rose. She keeps Greyson active and engaged with every day activities like taking him swimming in the summer! April also used to work in a long-term care facility so she knows the struggles patients can face with isolation and dependence.
“It makes me sad to think about kids like Greyson having to be cared for in a facility instead of at home. I know he thrives being surrounded by the things he loves and his health is better for it too. I am so close to my patients and their families, it makes me feel so fulfilled to do this work.” — home care nurse, April Rose.