Bright-eyed little Braxton is 2 years old. He is cared for by both a close family friend, lovingly referred to as Aunt Jamie, as well as his grandmother, Tori. Jamie has four other children, and the family lives about an hour outside of Pittsburgh. In many ways, Braxton is just a typical toddler. He enjoys playing with the other kids in his family, participating in water activities, and going to
Braxton has already been through a lot for someone so young. He was born with 7q11.23 duplication syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause a variety of neurological issues, developmental delays, and other conditions. He spent much of his first year of life hospitalized at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Jamie and Tori share that Braxton’s feeding and breathing issues were so severe that doctors had to save his life repeatedly. Braxton was a toddler when he was finally stable enough to be treated for his non-life-threatening medical issues such as eyesight, speech, and mobility issues.
Braxton’s Complex Care
Braxton’s family reports that he is treated in 13 different departments at UPMC Children’s. He is seen by so many specialists that the Complex Care Center at the hospital now helps Braxton’s family navigate the health care system both within and outside of UPMC Children’s. “Life would be completely overwhelming without the support the Complex Care Center and the Social Work team provide. They are all amazing, and I don’t know what we’d do without them!” Jamie says.
Clinicians at UPMC Children’s work collaboratively with Braxton’s pediatrician’s office to ensure he continues to receive the best care possible. Jamie and Tori are grateful that staff at UPMC Children’s take time out of their busy day to consult Braxton’s local medical team. “It is just another example of how they go above and beyond for their patients,” Jamie says emphatically. “The health of children really is what matters most to them.”
With so many appointments to attend, Jamie and Tori share that support from donors has helped them tremendously. The family receives gas cards to help with transportation costs, meal vouchers during inpatient stays, and assistance with medical equipment and procedural costs not covered by insurance — all of which are paid for by philanthropy. Contributions from caring community members are enabling patients like Braxton to achieve the healthy future they deserve.
Looking Forward to a Healthy Future
These days Braxton is using his walker and playing just like other kids his age. Jamie shares fondly, “Donations and extra support like this mean so much to the family of a medically complex child. Braxton had a rough start in life, and now it’s time for him to thrive!”
“We can take him to the hospital and not have to worry about anything. Staff really listen to us, and they go above and beyond to help us in any way they can. We owe everything to UPMC Children’s. Braxton is thriving because of the care he received there.”