12-year-old Prodige has complex care needs that mean he is vulnerable to everyday illnesses. As a result, he has spent a lot of his childhood in hospital.
But when we began supporting him, it meant Prodige was able to remain at home with his family, without a hospital in sight!
The first scare
Dolly arrived in the UK in 2008 from Paris. Already heavily pregnant, she moved into a cosy home in London and began preparing for her first baby, Prodige, to arrive.
When he was born, Prodige was diagnosed with neuro-developmental disorder, cerebral palsy and breathing difficulties that meant he required an in-situ tracheostomy.
Despite his complex care needs, Prodige was doing well and Dolly was adapting to life as a new mum. But when Prodige was just four months old, he had a severe cardiac arrest and Dolly experienced her first scare as a parent.
Worrying instances like this that involve hospital admissions are not uncommon for children and young people with complex care needs because they can be difficult to manage without specialist support.
“It was really scary. The ambulance came and took us to A&E. He spent some time in the ICU getting better and it was not an easy time for me as a new mum on my own.” said Dolly.
She continued, “when we went home, I wasn’t eating or drinking because I was so worried about him. I knew he was totally dependent on me for everything and always would be.”
Prodige recovered after a few months but sadly, it wouldn’t be the last time he would find himself in hospital.
“He was almost gone …“
When a healthy child catches the flu, it’s a worrying time for parents. But when a child with complex care needs catches the flu, the risks and complications are increased, and it can be life-threatening.
This was all too true in 2017, when Prodige returned to hospital having caught a serious case of the flu, which left him fighting for his life.
He became ill very quickly and needed urgent medical intervention to help him breathe. Despite lots of medication, treatments and round the clock ventilation, Prodige was still struggling to breathe. The doctors prepared Dolly for the worst.
It was awful. The doctors didn’t think he would make it. They said they would try one last medication for a response before turning off his ventilator. They gave him two hours to live. Thankfully, the medication started working before the two hours were up. I was so relieved. The reality is, in 2017, he was almost gone.Dolly, Prodige’s mum
Frequent hospital stays
After his life-threatening battle with the flu, Prodige became more susceptible to chest infections and was frequently admitted to hospital for lengthy stays so he could receive ventilation.
In December 2019, he endured a four-month period in hospital because his existing care agency couldn’t administer the type of ventilation he required at home.
This affected the whole family and had a huge impact on Prodige’s development as he was missing out on school, community interaction and spending time with his friends and family.
Dolly looked to regain some normality and decided Prodige could be better supported at home, especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospital agreed but required the input of a specialist provider before Prodige could be safely discharged. At this point, the Children’s Complex Care team at Voyage Care were contacted to provide a consistent care package within the family home.
Our nurse-led support
We’ve been supporting Prodige since early 2020. Our specialist team help him and his family to meet all of his complex care needs, including tracheostomy care, medication, moving and handling and more importantly, at-home invasive ventilation.
Our care also extends to supporting Prodige’s social, emotional and mental wellbeing. We encourage sensory play like experimenting with music and therapeutic massage, which he enjoys.
Since our intervention, we’ve seen a huge improvement in Prodige’s health. Our nurse-led staff know Prodige is susceptible to everyday illness, especially chest infections, so they’ve consistently monitored his needs, working alongside his multi-disciplinary team to recognise health patterns. This has helped us to identify early signs of infection and provide timely interventions, which we’re pleased to say, has resulted in no hospital admissions for over a year!
Prodige’s health has improved dramatically over the course of the last year and he no longer requires intensive nurse support. Because of this, we are currently transitioning him to a less intensive package of care so support can be delivered by highly-skilled healthcare assistants instead!
We’ve been supporting the family to attend sleep studies at Great Ormond Street Hospital to determine if Prodige could become less reliant on his ventilator as a result of his recent progress.
We’ve also been working with Prodige’s school to help complete risk assessments that will see him return to the classroom in a safe and controlled way once possible to do so.
A brighter future for Prodige
Prodige is a very happy child with an infectious laugh. He is much more than his challenges and we hope that through our continued support, he can lead a happier, healthier life.
No more hospitals. No more scares. Safe at home with his family.
For more information on how we can help your child, loved one or client to receive complex care and support at home like Prodige and his family, visit our Children’s Complex Care page!
To make an enquiry fill in this quick form, get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 0353 776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.