Eleven-year-old Octavio just won his debate competition. It was his team’s first time competing. They argued on topics from bullying to immigration. Their success is sweeter when you realize the members of his team are hearing impaired.

Like all parents, Miriam and Octavio were excited to welcome their son into the world. But joy turned to concern, nervousness and worry when little Octavio was born premature and required care in the NICU at Broward Health Coral Springs. It heightened when doctors transferred the family to Broward Health Medical Center’s NICU to provide the more intensive care and services he needed.

The worry was emotionally draining. For three months they traveled back and forth to be with their son, exhausting themselves physically. But caring for Octavio remained the most important thing in their lives. 

The physicians and nurses in the NICU educated the family on the to Early Steps and the Pediatric Center at CDTC when he was discharged. They immediately made their appointment for an evaluation.

It was Early Steps that would help with developmental issues resulting from his slow growth. They have built a deep relationship with their Primary Care Physicians at CDTC as they worked through Octavio’s diagnosis and treatment.

At age three, Octavio joined Extraordinary Children, Healthy Outcomes (ECHO). The Center’s Medical Home program helps the family navigate the specialists, procedures and care Octavio needs. It’s also an additional support system that helps the family thrive.

The rarity of his genetic condition has made a diagnosis difficult. Until recently, his condition was believed to be Meier-Gorlin Syndrome, a rare genetic condition affecting growth and often hearing. They are currently looking at other possibilities. Regardless, Octavio’s hearing has suffered.  

In 2015, physicians agreed Octavio was finally ready to receive implants to restore his hearing. His CDTC Care Coordinator Rosa has been amazed at his progress ever since. “He’s caught up with his peers. He’s very outgoing and has lots of friends. He talks a lot,” she shares.

His mom Miriam, is grateful for the support they have found at CDTC the past eleven years. She stopped working to be home for her son when he needs her and is devoted to his care. Her advice to other families caring for a child with special needs, “give your child a chance to develop and grow without making him feel less or spoiling them.”

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.