Bradley’s mom describes his health as “very fragile” when he was born. Minerva had difficulties during her pregnancy. Bradley was born by emergency c-section at only 28 weeks. Arriving so early, his lungs had not fully developed.
Doctors placed him on a tracheostomy tube to breathe and a g-tube to feed. He remained in the hospital for the first year of his life. When they sent him home his family had the help of a nurse to oversee his care. But his health was still far too fragile. After he stopped breathing several times, the family returned to the hospital and eventually placed him in a pediatric rehabilitation hospital.
It wasn’t until age four, when his breathing had improved, that Bradley came home to live with his family. But, coming home created new challenges for the family.
Bradley, who is also autistic, was living in new surroundings with unfamiliar routines and lots of new people. “Hugs and kisses were hard,” shares Bradley’s mom. “We needed time.”
In addition, Minerva was suddenly responsible for overseeing Bradley’s daily medical care and regular appointments with specialists. She felt alone and overwhelmed.
It was during a visit to the pulmonologist that another CDTC mother told her she needed to bring Bradley to the Center. This caring stranger assured her we could provide the help and support Minerva needed.
She came to CDTC right away and, from the first moment, felt she was no longer alone. “Every move you want to make,” Minerva shares, “they are right there.”
On the first day they arrived at CDTC, their doctor promised we would be here to help Minerva and Bradley as he grows. Twelve years, later that promise is still being kept.
Thanks to Ange, their CDTC Care Coordinator who helps schedule and keep track of their appointments, they never miss a doctor’s appointment. Bradley had his tracheostomy tube removed two years ago, though he still has the g-tube in place.
Now sixteen-years-old, he continues to make progress at home with the help of speech and occupational therapy. He can dress himself and is learning to feed himself. He doesn’t speak but has learned to communicate his needs with his family.
“He’ll show you what he wants and leads you to it,” says mom proudly. “He’s very smart – maybe more than us.”
Nominated by Ange Fennie Jean, Care Coordinator
Extraordinary Children, Healthy Outcomes
About our Hero of the Month
Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.
Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.
A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.
But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.