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Damonte's Story


Born prematurely, Damonte had an extremely fragile airway and required respiratory support to survive. Like many of the other children at The HSC Pediatric Center, Damonte was transferred from an acute care hospital for ongoing ventilator weaning, medical management, family education and discharge planning after a lengthy stay in a pediatric intensive care unit.

After many months of sub-acute care and extensive family education, he was discharged home. Not long after being home, however, Damonte required a readmission to an acute care hospital. Once again he transitioned back to The HSC Pediatric Center for ongoing medical management. Despite having a tracheostomy, his airway was deemed too fragile by consulting physicians to return to the community.

As Damonte’s condition stabilized over time on the medical unit, he was transitioned to our development program for patients with long-term, complex medical needs. Although his acute medical needs had lessened, he continued to receive ongoing medical management, therapy services, and developmental interventions to improve his socialization, stamina, and communication. He made significant gains in motor and communication skills through therapeutic group activities, pet therapy, and music therapy. Not only did he go on community outings as his condition improved, but he motored around the hospital with staff, first in a specialized wheelchair, then with a walker, and later walking on his own. Finally, at the age of four, he was successfully discharged home with home care and comprehensive outpatient rehab services.

Damonte’s successful transition home was made possible by the continuum of care and services available at HSC. Although Damonte has required extensive and continuous medical care, his transitions from one level of care to another have been managed in a way to maximize his potential and minimize the effects of long-term hospitalizations. Through quality programs and individualized treatment plans, Damonte has surpassed his goals and continues to be the center of attention when he comes in for outpatient therapy.