Braylon’s Heroic Heart

Braylon’s Heroic Heart

Braylon is a Hero for many reasons, but the one that stands out the most is his happy, always smiling disposition.

Braylon had a tough beginning coming into the world. He was born weighing just 1lb and 4oz and spent the first five months of his life in the NICU. He started his journey with CDTC in the Early Steps program one month later.

Doctors diagnosed Braylon with Cerebral Palsy when he was only one and a half years old. Everything changed from that moment forward. The family got to work and learned all they could about his diagnosis.

His medical home Care Coordinator Alison nominated him to be a CDTC HERO. “Braylon’s body doesn’t always want to cooperate with him, but it doesn’t phase him,” she marvels. “He is always happy and smiling. He recently had major orthopedic surgery and did not have one complaint about it.” He is such a strong and resilient boy.

Braylon sees several specialty physicians including ophthalmology, orthopedist, physiatry and neurology. It’s their CDTC Primary Care Physician Dr. Maria Barrueco the family counts on to know “just how to care for Braylon.” They can call Dr. Maria and their CDTC Care team for any of his needs.

With everything they have been through, Braylon’s family understands that this diagnosis does not define who he is. That positive attitude has helped Braylon along the way. Today, he is an Honor Roll student and is in a mainstream classroom.

Mom is most proud of Braylon as he is “so sweet, smart, positive and just awesome! He is never upset by his challenges. So why should we be?”

Mom wants other parents to know to “take it one day at a time and just know the diagnosis doesn’t mean your life stops.”

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.

Heroic Hailey’s Smile

Heroic Hailey’s Smile

Six-year-old Hailey is both a hero and a role model according to her Dental Team.

As you can imagine, this happy little girl wasn’t always so happy to be in the dental chair. Her first visit with Dr. Alonso was an exam from mom’s lap when she was only one year old.

Hailey was already enrolled in our Early Steps Program to address developmental delays associated with a medical condition, arteriovenous malformation. She was also already seeing Dr. Maria in our Pediatric Primary Care Center.

Undergoing so many medical visits, therapies and procedures meant she was easily scared being held and examined in the Dental Chair. Despite the fear, Hailey’s mom made sure she made all her appointments and brushed her teeth. Hailey came away from each visit with no cavities.

By the time Hailey was four, she was sitting in the chair by herself but still a bit tentative. At five, she was calmer during her appointment. Today, she’s independent and ready for her visit to the Dentist.

“Time, age and trusting is key,” shares Dr. Alonso. The CDTC Dental team was determined to gain Hailey’s trust no matter how long it took. Their patience paid off.

Now, it’s Hailey’ turn to be a role model for her little brother who’s next up in the dental chair.

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.

Don’s a TAFT Hero

Don’s a TAFT Hero

Don Simms grew up dealing with a wide range of complicated health conditions including cerebral palsy, seizures and asthma. Although Don is twenty, he is non-verbal and needs constant care and oversight by his family.

Don was the family’s first child and mom had a normal pregnancy so her son’s diagnosis was a shock. “It was traumatic. You have goals for your kids, not having any idea that this is the journey we would have to walk. The reality of him not meeting milestones was really heartbreaking,” shares his mom Shaketra.

Through the years, the family has learned to adjust. They found Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center after leaving the hospital and have been grateful over the years for the good doctors and care they received. Dr. Lafrance has been his physician from the start. Her nurturing aura, ability to genuinely listen to concerns, and her honesty have been a source of comfort and strength to the family.

Thanks to the support she has received, Don’s mom is most proud of no longer being afraid of the unknown. She knows his care is not her burden alone and she’s learned to be vocal when it comes to advocating on behalf of her son’s care. “I have no fear of the unknown because she (Dr. Lafrance) is good at educating me on the possibilities of what could happen,” says Shaketra.

Today, Don is the nucleus of the family and every decision is made around his care. Even Don’s siblings are devoted to his care. They help look after him and assist with his meds and feeding. They are also willing to “go without” in a heartbeat if that means accommodating their brother’s needs.

Now that Don is 21, Shaketra knows the day is quickly approaching when the family will have to leave the care of CDTC. They have been working diligently with the Center’s Transitioning Adolescents Forward Into Tomorrow (TAFT) Program to plan for how to keep Don healthy and happy through adulthood.

The family’s dedication and perseverance makes them our hero. But to the family, Don is the true Hero. “He’s so resilient. Last year he almost died… but he’s such a fighter and because he’s such a fighter he makes me want to fight for him more.”

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.

Isabella & Madison

Isabella & Madison

Isabella and Madison were born at only 23 weeks, 6 days. The impossibly tiny micro-preemies weighed just over one pound, Isabella weighing only 1.4lbs and Madison even smaller at 1.3lbs.
Being born so early, both girl’s systems were underdeveloped. Isabella had blood clots and required multiple surgeries including heart and eye surgery. Madison also underwent surgery and battled infections. Both girls required oxygen treatments to develop their lungs.

It was a long road for Mom and Dad, Glorimar and Jared. Both were devoted to the care of their children and remained with their daughters every day. Remarkably, the girls thrived and miraculously were discharged around their original due date without requiring oxygen support.

The family was relieved and emotionally drained from their time at the hospital when they were finally settled in at home. However, like many babies born this early, the girls physical development coupled with their medical issues also left them at high risk for developmental delays. The family quickly discovered bringing providers and therapists from Early Steps at CDTC into their home would be a welcome experience.

Immediately, Isabella and Madison took to their occupational therapist, Debbi. She was warm and friendly and the girls looked forward to seeing her. Debbi, along with a physical therapist, would teach them how to crawl properly, sit properly, and eventually walk. Glorimar noticed after each visit how Isabella and Madison would utilize the techniques they learned, and the girls excelled even faster.

Both girls have also received therapy helping them with sounds and verbalizing words. They’ve had to work hard at increasing their ability to express themselves and socialize with others around them.
At the age of two, the children are now all caught up to their age group. And, the family could not be more grateful for Early Steps and the assistance they received.

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.

Sophia

Sophia

The day just got better in CDTC’s Dental Clinic. Seven-year-old Sophia is coming today!

This jubilant little girl is a little ray of sunshine for our dentist Dr. Alonso and her team. They look forward to her chatty, happy visits.

“Instead of us cheering her up (during her visit), she’s the one that cheers us up,” exclaims Dr. Alonso.
This wasn’t always the case.

Dr. Alonso remembers her first visit three years ago. She cried the whole time. Her mom had to hold her the entire time. That day the team worked overtime to comfort the little girl.

Sophia, who has Turners Syndrome, came to the Center for our Early Steps program. In 2015, after aging out of Early Steps, she joined Extraordinary Children, Healthy Outcomes (ECHO). The family has lots of support when it comes to Sophia’s health. Besides seeing our dentist, she regularly sees Dr. Robinson in our Primary Care Center. Her ECHO Care Coordinator Ange assists the family with her medical needs and services.

Today, Sophia welcomes her regular six-month checkups. She has outgrown her thumb sucking. Her teeth are healthy and bright. Which is an important thing for an always smiling, outgoing child!

You’ll never forget Sophia once you meet her. There is no such thing as a stranger to her. She makes sure to meet everyone she can; always asking questions, getting to know you and sharing with others.

“She’s always happy and brings smiles to everyone,” shares Ange.

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.