Meet Kevin Blake, a long-time patient of Children’s. In the following, his mother, Laurie, describes what having access to Children’s services closer to home has meant to their family.
My son Kevin was born with multiple congenital abnormalities. He has moderate to severe hearing loss, low muscle tone and a handful of developmental delays. When he was born we instantly knew he was a special kid, and I immediately felt very protective of him. Life may be a bit tougher for Kevin, but his vulnerabilities and strength to work through them is nothing short of amazing, and in doing so he inspires my husband Dan and I to be better parents. As Dan says, “If there are a certain percentage of children born with special needs, then I’m glad we have one of them, because I know we’ll take good care of him.”
The first two years of Kevin’s life were touch and go. He repeatedly had breathing troubles to the point where his face would turn blue and he’d spend hours hooked up to an apnea monitor. We had to call 911 on several occasions and once, when the paramedic took his small, unconscious body from my arms, I really thought we lost him forever.
Amazingly enough, this fragile little baby grew into a strong, happy 8-year-old boy, thanks to his outstanding medical team of clinicians and specialists. In addition to his pediatrician, Dr. Thomas Natale, Kevin sees five different specialists at Boston Children’s North, including a neurologist, ophthalmologist and orthopedic specialist. Each and every one of them is exceptional; they truly care about Kevin and his well-being and get as excited as we do about his progress.
Living on the North Shore, there’s no way Kevin could be seen so often, and by such a high caliber medical team, without a Children’s Hospital Boston satellite location. Our doctors’ offices are just 10 minutes from Kevin’s school and our home, making his care far more manageable. The Children’s computer system allows the doctors to share notes easily and stay connected to other experts on Children’s staff. For a kid like Kevin, whose complex medical needs has him seen by many specialists in different departments, that type of multidisciplinary interaction is crucial.
“If there are a certain percentage of children born with special needs, then I’m glad we have one of them, because I know we’ll take good care of him.”
The advanced communication and technology available at Boston Children’s North is great, but for us it’s the people that make it really special. Everyone who works there is extraordinary; from the reception staff to the nurses, everyone is so nice to our family, you’d think royalty had arrived when Kevin comes in.
I just started working as a teaching assistant in a deaf and hard of hearing Kindergarten class this year, and if I needed to take Kevin into Boston for all his appointments, holding a job would be impossible. Children’s Peabody satellite not only offers top-notch care for my son, but also affords me extra time to focus on work, which is very important to me as well.
On one of our recent visits I noticed a piece of artwork hanging in the waiting area. The inscription on the piece reads: “It is only right that each child be cherished.” This statement is a perfect reflection of how each employee of Boston Children’s North treats the kids who come through its doors. They truly understand how little minds work and they do everything they can to make doctor visits as pleasant as possible. For people like us, who spend more than our fair share of time in and out of medical appointments, the extent they go to make the whole process as smooth as possible is wonderful.
In addition to expanding the Cardiology, Neurology and Developmental Medicine services, Boston Children’s North offers a number of new services not previously available at our old facility: phlebotomy, EEG, urology testing and an Allergy Clinic. Four new imaging services have also been added: MRI, Diagnostic, Ultrasound and Fluoroscopy.
Even though Boston Children’s North has been open for over a month, it wouldn’t be a grand opening without our staff, patients and their families. On Saturday, March 12, from 1 to 3 p.m., Boston Children’s North will host an afternoon of free winter fun, featuring outdoor ice skating, food, entertainment by Radio Disney, face painting, a Teddy Bear Clinic and a medical mystery for older kids to solve. All are welcome!