Top 12 Success Stories of 2013


With the holidays in full swing – and 2014 quickly approaching – we took a few minutes to look back at some of our patient’s success stories from 2013.

These successes are possible because our patients live fulfilling lives at home surrounded by their loved ones and with assistance from our trusted nurses.

Here’s a snapshot of their inspiring stories:

ThumbnailMaria, 18-Year-Old Ventilator-Dependent High School Graduate, Plans to Attend College
It’s the last day of school at Morton East High School in Cicero, IL. Maria Valdez, 18, is furiously typing on her computer as she puts the finishing touches on the last paper she’ll ever have to write in high school. During the few hours I spend with Maria, I learn that she is determined to be known for her confidence and fearlessness—not for the 14 lb. ventilator she tows around with her to school every day. Click here to read more.

ThumbnailTherapeutic Riding: Briana is All Smiles at Horse Camp
When Briana, 14, was born, most people thought she would never be able to walk, talk, or breathe without a ventilator. Today, Briana is thriving. Not only is she walking, talking, and weaned off the vent, but she is also riding—horses, that is. Click here to read more.


ThumbnailThe Courageous Story of a Mouth Painter
Onix Flores has lived with a rare neuromuscular disease called Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease for most of her life. Now living on a ventilator, Onix has chosen to share her courageous story through the art of mouth painting. Click here to read more.



Alexis_spinabifidaTransition Home: Creating a Family for Alexis
Recently adopted Alexis and her new sister, Isobel, have something in common: They were born with Spina Bifida. Click here to read more.



Alex_NurseTurning Alex’s Football Dream into a Reality
Alex, 15, was named Honorary Team Captain of St. Francis High School’s sophomore football team. This honor means a great deal to Alex and his family, particularly because Alex was severely injured the day before he was scheduled to play in his first high school football game last fall. Click here to read more.


Alejandro_chairSpinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month: Alejandro’s Story
Alejandro, two and a half years old, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and is ventilator dependent. Diagnosed with Type 1 SMA at a very young age, Alejandro lacks the ability to send signals from his brain to his muscles, which causes severe mobility impairment. Despite his limitations, Alejandro continues to make great progress. Click here to read more.


maxallenderSpotlight on Max: His First Trip to the Park
Max and his twin sister were born at 26 weeks in March 2012. After their birth, Max spent more than 15 months in the hospital until he was able to transition home. This summer, Max’s mom, Jessi, scheduled his first official outing at a local park. Click here to read more.


AR_1Rehab at Home: Weaning Andrew off the Vent
Andrew was born at 26 weeks at less than 1 lb. Due to Andrew’s severe prematurity and emergency birth, he was placed on a ventilator. Now 2, Andrew is crawling, using sign language to communicate, and has been working to accomplish his biggest goal yet: to breathe on his own without a ventilator. Click here to read more.


Trissa_v2Trissa Turns 10!
Trissa, 10, thrived for seven years with Independence Plus’s nursing care at home and was decannulated in 2010. Five months later, Trissa experienced complications and required another tracheotomy; our nurses have been with her ever since. Today, Trissa lives with a permanent artificial airway (tracheostomy tube) and requires bilevel ventilation at night. She is progressing well, and her team has nothing but high hopes for her future. Click here to read more.


Alden__078_squareThe Importance of Today: Living with ALS
Mr. Alden Orput, 82, worked most of his career as the CEO of Orput Companies Inc., a third-generation family-owned real estate firm, founded in 1928. He is a savvy businessman, art collector, adventure seeker, family man, and for the past couple years, a man who is not defined by his disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Click here to read more.


R_BrightA Brighter Future for COPD Patient
Ms. Rochfella Bright, 52, enjoys being with her family, crocheting blankets, solving puzzles, and even fishing with Robert, her son, at a pond near their home. Life wasn’t always this good for Ms. Bright who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, commonly referred to as COPD, until she was introduced to Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV®) treatments at home. Click here to read more.


SS_flowerAdvocating for Sara: A Parent’s Perspective
Sara is a survivor. Sara, 9, is described by her parents, Rei and Daniel, as a girly girl and lover of all things Hello Kitty. Sara was born with Trisomy 16, a chromosomal abnormality. In 2012, she received a tracheostomy and was placed on a ventilator. Together, Sara and her family are supported by their friends, physicians, specialists, therapists, and nurses, who are all fighting to keep Sara healthy – and at home. Click here to read more.


To view all of our stories from 2013, click here.



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