As 2014 comes to an end, we find ourselves reflecting on the good news we celebrated and shared on our blog this year. Our patients’ success stories are possible because of their determination to living fulfilling lives at home, surrounded by their loved ones and assisted by our trusted clinicians.
Please take a moment to read about some of our proudest moments of 2014:
Bill and Chris: A Love Story
Happily married for more than 10 years, Bill and Chris Schaffert are thankful they found each other. Bill and Chris were asked on Valentine’s Day: What is the secret is to your marriage? “A sense of humor!” Chris quickly replies. Bill suffers from an undiagnosed neuromuscular disease, similar to Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Just the same, Bill and Chris continue to make each other laugh every day. Click here to read more.
A True Patient Advocate
Tony, 25, is a dedicated and passionate patient advocate for Muscular Dystrophy. “Everything I do is motivated by helping others,” Tony explains. Diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at age seven, Tony learned to channel the frustration for his diagnosis into advocacy work. Click here to read more.
Isobel Goes to School!
Thanks in large part to her parents, Emily and Dave, and nurse, Mindy, LPN, Isobel (age 3) has proven that attending school is possible—even with Spina Bifida! Now off the ventilator completely, Isobel travels with Mindy four days a week to preschool in a big yellow school bus. Click here to read more.
Xavier’s Wish Comes True
Xavier, 5, has the most contagious smile. When he flashes his wide, open-mouthed grin, you can’t help but beam right back at him. Born premature at 27 weeks, Xavier has a complicated medical history that has left him without a diagnosis and ventilator-dependent. He recently traveled to Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Click here to read more.
The Story of a Budding Rock Star
Aiden, 5, loves music. When he was two years old, Aiden began drumming on the kitchen table. Today, Aiden plays three different djembe drums for up to an hour every day—and is even learning to play the piano. Despite being born with Nager syndrome, Aiden is thriving. Click here to read more.
Raise Your Glass to Muscular Dystrophy
John, 31, is a sports enthusiast, avid movie-goer, and college graduate. When John was only four years old, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder causing progressive muscle weakness and wasting. Fourteen years ago, his Irish Catholic family began fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association—and they are still going strong. Click here to read more.
A Mother’s Courage to Fight ALS
Carol is one strong woman. A mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, Carol is fighting the hardest battle of her life yet—ALS. Three years ago, Carol was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Despite new obstacles in her life, like dependence on mechanical ventilation, Carol refuses to let ALS define her. Click here to read more.
A Joyous Graduation from Home Nursing
Andrew, 2, is one happy, healthy, and handsome young man. Today, we are overjoyed to announce Andrew’s graduation from our Home Nursing program. He has completed one tough journey and now he is ready for life without skilled home nursing care. This day is filled with many emotions as his full-time nursing staff and clinical team say their goodbyes and celebrate Andrew’s incredible progress. Click here to read more.
Born at 27 Weeks, Daniel is Already Famous!
Daniel, 21 months, is a dynamic, intelligent, and handsome little man. Born at 27 weeks weighing only 1 lb., 7 oz., Daniel’s complex medical history required him to undergo open-heart surgery at 4 months, receive a tracheostomy, and be placed on mechanical ventilation. With help from his parents and nurses, Daniel has already made significant progress. Click here to read more.
Sara’s Home Makeover
Special Spaces Chicagoland approached Sara, age 10, and her parents earlier this year to transform Sara’s bedroom into a dream world. But Sara’s friends, nurses, and community had something even better in mind that would infuse joy and meaning into Sara’s entire home. Click here to read more.
Life After a Spinal Cord Injury
It’s easy to feel comfortable around JJ. He’s easy to talk to—and has a great sense of humor. In 2007, JJ suffered a complete spinal cord injury when he fell from a roof while working as a carpenter. He is living proof that life doesn’t have to stop with a spinal cord injury. Click here to read more.
Trissa’s Ice Bucket Challenge
Trissa is bright, spirited, and wise beyond her years. For her birthday this year—and as a prelude to surgery—Trissa chose to donate some of her birthday funds to the ALS Foundation. Watch Trissa’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video and hear her important message—it blew us away! Click here to read more.
Learning How to Speak Again
Melanie, RN, one of Independence Plus’s nurses, remembers the first time she heard Joan’s voice. The pair has been working together three days a week since Joan moved back home last November, after spending almost one year in the hospital. Click here to read more.
Thankful for Madelyn Coming Home
Madelyn, 10 months, celebrated her second week home in November after spending 292 days in the hospital. Jeff and Amy, Madelyn’s parents, are thankful to finally have their daughter home—and just in time for the holidays and Madelyn’s first birthday. Click here to read more.
Lauren’s Dream Comes True!
Lauren (age 19), one of our ventilator-dependent patients, appeared on WGN News in a special segment called “Mr. Brightside,” which features people in the community who are doing great things. We talked to Lauren two days after the video aired and here’s what she had to say: “The last couple of days have been awesome!” Click here to read more.
To view all of our stories from 2014, click here.
Which story is your favorite? Tell us here!