Posts tagged ‘pediatric complex care’

In your corner: Pediatric Complex Care team advocates for children with multiple medical needs

Dr. Laura Murphy, pediatrician with Penn State Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Complex Care Program, smiles and bends down to greet her patient, Brinda Rizal, who is in a wheelchair. Brinda, who has braids and is wearing a sweatshirt and pants, is strapped into the wheelchair and looks up at Murphy, who is wearing a polka dotted shirt and pants and wears a stethoscope around her neck. Brinda’s mother, Basudha Rizal, wearing glasses and a printed top and pants, is sitting in a chair against the wall. She smiles at her daughter. A soap dispenser, pamphlet rack and folders are hanging on the wall of the exam rom.

Dr. Laura Murphy greets 8-year-old Brinda Rizal of Harrisburg during an appointment as her mother, Basudha, looks on.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Ask Dina Gonzalez about her son Alejandro’s diagnosis, and she has no specific answer.

The list of health challenges the 10-year-old boy faces, however, numbers at least eight items – seizure disorder, cortical visual impairment, chronic lung disease among them – and managing them is daunting.

“Dealing with the doctors can be hard,” the Lebanon mother said. “A lot of them are good at what they do, but they have tunnel vision for their own specialty, and they don’t take into account all of Alejandro’s conditions and medications.”

Her son uses a wheelchair and requires 24/7 monitoring. Gonzalez says she often feels like a prisoner to his frequent, respiratory-compromising seizures – which require her to give oxygen, stimulation to the chest and rescue breaths.

Worrying about whether insurance will continue to pay for his medical equipment, coordinating all his speech, occupational and physical therapy with specialist appointments and finding time for her older son pose a constant challenge.

Enter Dr. Laura Murphy and the Pediatric Complex Care team at Penn State Children’s Hospital.


May 8, 2019 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

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