The Magic of Health Home

When asked about who Noah is, his mom, Katy, replied, “Noah is an amazing little boy. Well, I shouldn’t say little boy anymore because he’s 15, but to me he’s always going to be my little boy.” 

Noah was born prematurely at just 24-weeks’ gestation and was hospitalized for three months. Shortly after discharging home, Noah was readmitted with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Katy wasn’t sure he was going to survive. 

teen boy in adaptive wheelchair on street in city with mother and case manager

“I didn’t really know what was going to happen and he made it through that," she said. "It’s been a long tough road to get him where he is now but he always amazes me and everyone else.” 

Due to his severe prematurity, Noah was born with spastic quadriplegia, the most severe form of cerebral palsy, affecting both his arms and legs. Noah is also legally blind. Last August, Noah underwent bilateral femoral osteotomy, a complicated surgical procedure to repair the dislocation of his hips due to cerebral palsy. At that time, he also required surgery to reconstruct and replace his hip joints and femurs. 

He was then admitted to Blythedale Children’s Hospital for multidisciplinary rehabilitation services. During his admission at Blythedale, Noah’s social worker referred Noah and Katy to Blythedale’s Health Home Care Management team and Health Home Care Manager Crystal Jones, LMSW

Blythedale's Health Home Care Management program provides care coordination services to families living in the Bronx or Westchester who receive Medicaid support and have a child with two or more chronic conditions. 

“These are families who might need assistance with anything from scheduling appointments to transportation, to advocating for appropriate educational placements, housing or just following up with doctors and providers to ensure that their medical needs are being met,” described Jones. 

For Noah, she assisted by coordinating an insurance authorization for a new Hoyer lift for his bed, transportation to and from medical appointments, arranging a home health aide service, as well as maintaining his feeding supplies, especially during the formula shortage. 

Having assistance wasn’t always the case for Katy. 

mom and son looking at augmentative communication device

“I am a domestic violence survivor,” Katy shared. “I got into a relationship, and it was an abusive relationship so I ended up leaving my home I had known my entire life and Noah had known for his entire life. We had to pick up and leave in the middle of the night because I feared for our lives. We moved into a shelter and were living there while at Blythedale.” 

Though Katy is grateful for learning how to independently care for her son during that time, she was able to use Blythedale as a support when she needed it most. Prior to Noah’s surgery, Katy had applied for an apartment in the Bronx and was in the process of her application review while at Blythedale. 

“They knew that I had an apartment and worked with me to make sure that Noah moved to a safe place instead of moving back to the shelter," she said. 

"I am so appreciative to Blythedale because they really looked out for me and my family." 

After being discharged from Blythedale, Crystal worked with Katy and Noah to acclimate to their community and their new home, utilizing Crystal’s expertise in accessing community resources. 

“It’s been a challenge for them, but Katy’s a very strong lady.” 

For the past 15 years, Katy has been juggling the needs of her son along with her own, managing doctors’ appointments, medications, care at home for Noah, and arranging transportation services to and from his appointments. With Crystal’s support, Katy is now reaching out for assistance before things become overwhelming. 

“I’m learning now to release some of the power and the control and that it’s okay to do that; people are here and want to help you.” 

Jones agreed, “Health Home has been able to step in and alleviate some of that pressure from her and show her that she doesn’t have to do this alone.”