Home Health: Life After the NICU
Bringing Brayden Home
At Neotech, we have the privilege of hearing incredible stories from clinicians, volunteers, and home health caregivers. One such story is from NICU Mom, Ashlee Jenkins.
Brayden Jenkins was born premature at 23 weeks and 4 days. He weighed 1 pound 3 ounces. He spent 389 days in the hospital. When he was finally released from the NICU, the Jenkins’ story did not stop there. Challenges from a premature birth persisted. But they persevered to ensure that they could provide the best home health care possible for Brayden.
“Brayden’s biggest challenge has always been chronic lung disease,” Ashlee said. “This required him to get a tracheostomy as he needed long-term respiratory support. They say the NICU roller coaster doesn’t stop after discharge. Which turned out to be true as we went home with medical equipment, including a ventilator, suction machine, pulse oximeter, oxygen…”
“Due to having lung disease,” Ashlee continued, “any type of cold or infection can make Brayden extremely ill. As a result we have to go into isolation during RSV and flu season.” This began immediately after leaving the hospital in October 2017.
Shortly after discharge, Brayden started receiving in-home therapies, including physical, speech, and feeding. Home health was an incredible adjustment for the Jenkins. Brayden still faced medical challenges due to his prematurity. They had to create a strict routine just to manage daily life filled with logistical challenges. Several times a month, the Jenkins had to pack up Brayden and all his equipment to get to doctor’s appointments.
Home Health Inspiration
Families like the Jenkins inspire the Neotech Home Health team to advocate on behalf of parents to help get our products into the home. At Neotech, we offer a robust free samples program. We also offer our support to work with your DME to get our products into your home. Active engagement with families like the Jenkins, helps us learn more about our products. We receive important feedback from home health caregivers. We want parents to know they have an ally in Neotech Products and we’re here to help.
In the spring of 2018, the Jenkins began weaning the vent at home. Brayden became vent-free the following summer. Brayden has now been home for over a year and it’s’ extremely gratifying to know that he’s thriving.
“The past year Brayden went from not sitting up on his own to walking and running around just like a typical toddler,” Ashlee said. “He went from being 100% tube fed and never having tasted any food or drink, to eating full meals and taking sips. He still has a speech delay but uses signs, sounds, and gestures to communicate.”
We thank Ashlee for sharing her inspiring story with us and our readers. Stories likes these are what keep us motivated to Make a Difference in the lives of patients, their families, and those who care for them.