Trissa, 10, recently celebrated a milestone birthday. More than 200 people attended her 10th birthday party this year, including family members, friends, classmates, and even a few of her nurses!
“It keeps getting bigger and bigger,” says Dennis, Trissa’s dad. “Every year we’re just thankful for Trissa. Her birthday has become a thanksgiving for our family,” says Dennis.
A Survivor from the Beginning
When Trissa was two months old, her pediatrician discovered she was having trouble breathing during a routine check-up. Trissa was immediately rushed to the hospital where an emergency tracheotomy was performed.
“Everything happened so fast,” recalls Dennis. The next three months were a blur for Trissa’s family. They lived out of Trissa’s hospital room during her recovery.
Hope for the Future
Trissa thrived for seven years with Independence Plus’s nursing care at home and she was decannulated in 2010. Five months later, Trissa experienced complications and required another tracheotomy; Independence Plus’ 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 – physicians, nurses, therapists, and family – has nothing but high hopes for her future.
A New School Year
Trissa started fourth grade this year and was recently chosen to be a library helper where she spends time filing books and helping other students check out their books on the computer. As a member of her school’s choir, Trissa also spends a majority of her free time practicing music. She utilizes a Passy-Muir valve over her tracheostomy tube to improve and strengthen her ability to voice.
These activities have helped Trissa “break away” from the various medical interventions that are necessary to sustain her life throughout every day. “They allow her to do something different,” says Dennis. Trissa is courageously paving her own unique path for her future.
If the last 10 years are any indication of what Trissa can accomplish, we can’t wait to see what her future holds!