Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Help Me Howard: Children's Hospital
If your child is healthy, you probably can't even imagine what one South Florida mother goes through. Her son in and out of hospitals since birth and now she is being told he is 18 and can no longer be treated at a children's hospital. Which is terrifying her and him. But can a young adult stay at the only hospital he feels comfortable in? It's why she called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Miracle baby- a phrase that may be used too often. But not in Bobby Roan's case.
Jillian Berry, Bobby's mother: "A brain injury at birth. He has Cerebral Palsy, restrictive airway disease and also asthma. He has a castrated cyst on his brain, he has a blockage on the back of his brain. He was never supposed to walk or talk or more or less live."
Thanks to the loving care from his mother and the doctors and nurses at Joe DiMaggio Hospital. Bobby is now 18.
Jillian Berry: "He's like 110 pounds and lets say 5 feet and very very skinny."
But turning 18 brought some bad news for Jillian and her son.
Jillian Berry: "They have a policy stating that once the child turns 18 that they no longer can go to the children's division of Joe DiMaggio."
Normally a teenager can walk away from a children's hospital with no problem.
Jillian Berry: "He's mentally retarded but trainable."
Bobby has very special needs and when he gets in a new setting, he gets extremely anxious and out of control.
Jillian Berry: "Because he's scared and its a very scared thing."
But for years Jillian says the staff at Joe DiMaggio has been able to calm and care for her son.
Jillian Berry: "He feels very comfortable there because he knows a lot of the nurses there and they know him."
But when Bobby reached 18, Joe DiMaggio told Jillian he would have to go to the adult hospital, Memorial Regional, to be treated but it didnt turn out well.
Jillian Berry: "and the doctor basically tells me well I'm not really familiar with him."
Jillian says Bobby was terrified and she couldnt bare to see her son away from his comfort zone at the children's hospital.
Jillian Berry: "He's 18 age wise but medically wise he's not."
Well Howard, it's a wonderful compliment to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital that Jillian wants to keep getting her son treated there. So can a children's hospital tell a person who is legally 18 but physically and mentally nowhere near that, 'We cant treat you anymore'?
Howard Finkelstein: "Yes they can. In fact this is called aging out and legally a children's hospital can transition a patient like Bobby to an adult hospital. The reason- children's hospitals specialize in children and Bobby is becoming an adult and needs to be with doctors who specialize in adults with his special needs."
When we talked to Joe DiMaggio hospital everything worked out quickly.
Bobby will now stay in the children's hospital and slowly meet new doctors and nurses from the adult side of the hospital so he can become comfortable with them.
Normally kids are transitioned out but Joe DiMaggio says they didn't do it with Bobby because his primary care physician was in Miami-Dade
And in the hospitals defense, if they don't require a patient to move to an adult hospital and something happens they can be sued for not providing a doctor who specializes in adults for a patient like Bobby who is now legally an adult.
By treating Bobby with adult doctors at the children's hospital, its good for Bobby and the hospital.
Jillian Berry: "I am very happy."
Jillian is happy just like bobby. Most of the time...
Jillian Berry: "I mean he's a teachers helper, he's the happiest kid you ever want to meet but when he's sick he's not happy that smile is not there."
Patrick Fraser: "If i had as many medical issues as Bobby in my life I'd be a little on the grumpy side once in awhile as well.
Fortunaly its all working out for Bobby, which is what is really most important."
Got a problem in the infant stage? Need adult sized solutions? Contact us. We wouldn't be a good patient but we are patient when it comes to resolving thing.
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