In November of 2015, my husband and I became Savannah’s Kinship Care parents. I had worked with her for about a year at Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital as her CNA. In August of 2016, we along with our two sons became her forever family.
Savannah has a very rare condition called congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (only 1300 people in the world have this condition). It causes shallow breathing while awake, and causes her to stop breathing while asleep. She has a tracheotomy (that she has had since she was 3 months old), which assists her when on the ventilator. She is on the autism spectrum, has an anoxic brain injury, ADHD, and just got a pacemaker in January.
Despite all of this, she is an amazing 9-year-old little girl who loves to sing, dance, read, write stories, horseback ride, skate, and climb anything. She is a miracle and has come so far since 2015.
She qualifies for assistance for 12 hours of nursing care per day, but in the past 6 years she has had 7 different nurses and for almost a year we couldn’t find a nurse to help us. She missed 21 days of school that year and I nearly lost my job.
It was so hard to find reliable care, that I decided to go to school to be her nurse. In the spring of 2019, I enrolled in online classes for Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology. It was so hard, I graduated from high school in 1990 and I had gotten my CNA license at a nursing home in 2001. I passed, but I knew online education was not going to work. I got enrolled at Canadian Valley Technology Center and I am so glad I did. The ability to have a self-paced program was exactly what our family needed. I am so thankful that I can now be my daughter’s home-health nurse and give her the quality care that she deserves.
Teressia Smith completed the LPN Program on February 2, 2022. She plans to work for Aveanna Home Health (Preferred Pediatrics Home Health) to be her daughter’s home health nurse. Teressia, we are so proud of how far you’ve come. Best of luck on Boards!