December 20, 2013 – The holidays are a special time of year—a time to celebrate each family member, from the youngest to the oldest. Every day, the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) helps children and seniors receive the care they need to stay at home.
That includes Norah Peyton Miller, 9 weeks old, who was born with a congenital heart defect and Down syndrome. At 4 weeks old, she caught a cold and spent three weeks in hospital where she received oxygen therapy.
Norah will now spend the holidays at home in Braeside thanks to the help of a Pediatric Care Coordinator from the Champlain CCAC.
Pediatric Care Coordinators help make the transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible, while ensuring that patients and parents receive the highest quality care and supports at home.
"Norah's Pediatric Care Coordinator helps us deal with daily life and all the appointments we have to make. She's also there to help us plan for the special care associated with Down syndrome by connecting our family to services we'll need now and in the future," said Courtney Miller, Norah's mother.
Norah continues to receive oxygen therapy at home while waiting to undergo surgery to repair the hole in her heart in February. She has received care from a Registered Dietician and an Occupational Therapist to ensure that her heart and body can grow as much as possible before the life-saving surgery.
"After hospital discharge, Pediatric Care Coordinators act as a single point of contact for families," explains Francine O'Grady, a Pediatric Care Coordinator working in Renfrew County. "Parents can feel overwhelmed by all the information they receive. It's important for them to know they are doing the right thing, from learning how to use medical equipment to exploring community health services."
This means that parents know who to call when they have a question and can instead focus on what's important—spending time with their child.
"Everyone is coming to us now, so we don't have to go out as much for every appointment. Our family can be together at home for Christmas," said Norah's mother.