Easter Seals West Kentucky
Upon meeting four year old Zhandri Martin, one may immediately notice his small stature and his mischievous, heart-melting smile. According to Ms. Madison, a RN at the Lily Pad, "Zhandri brightens each and every day with his spunky personality and big heart." Unless you are a part of Zhandri's daily life, you would never know this outgoing, loving little boy, who never meets a stranger, lives with a life-altering disease. At birth, Zhandri was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatening genetic disease that affects the movement of sodium chloride (salt) in and out of certain cells, resulting in: thick, sticky mucous in the lungs, salty sweat and thickened digestive juices. As a result, lung infections are common in cystic fibrosis patients as well as poor absorption of nutrients to the body.
In order for Zhandri to function at his best, he must participate in an approximate two hour medicine regimen daily. He uses a Respi-tech vest two times a day as part of his Chest Percussion Therapy (CPT). This therapy helps loosen the mucous or secretion from his lungs so he can cough them up. He also receives inhalers before and after the CPTs and three breathing treatments daily. Zhandri is also on a high calorie diet to help him gain the weight that he needs. Along with the high calorie diet, Zhandri must take enzymes before each meal and snack. The enzymes help him to better digest food so that his body can absorb all the nutrients it needs.
As working parents of six active children, two of which have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Zhandri's parents have had to learn to manage the children's busy schedules along with being cystic fibrosis advocates. With their busy lives, Tamara and Kenton are very grateful for the services provided through the Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky.
Zhandri attends preschool at the Lily Pad five days a week. According to his teacher, Mrs. Amanda, he is learning to recognize letters and their sounds, is working on counting and shapes and is learning to spell his name. All of his health needs are met by a loving medical staff while at school. Zhandri also uses the Easter Seals van as transportation home three times a week.
The Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky is a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Program. It is the only program of this kind in western Kentucky and provides medical, child development and preschool services for children with complex medical diagnosis. These children are now able to learn and play with their peers, while receiving the specialized medical care they require. Parents of these children are able to return to work or school, with the comfort that their child is being cared for by registered nurses, certified nurse aids and a certified teachers, in a social and educational environment.
Through your contributions to the Lions Club/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars, the Lily Pad continues to grow. Through your generosity, Zhandri and his friends enrolled in the Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky will continue to receive the services needed to learn, play and grow, thus ensuring their successes in life!
When walking through the door at the Adult Day Health Care at Easter Seals West Kentucky, you can always count on a big greeting and smile from Lauren Gray! Lauren has been attending the Adult Day Health Care program since 2006. She is very active and can often be found participating in many of the activities including singing karaoke, exercise class, bingo, dancing and art class. As an athlete and an artist, Lauren makes the most of the abilities given to her.
In addition to participating in the activities and socializing, Lauren loves to help out around the center and assist her peers in the program. You can often find her playing card games with her friends at Easter Seals. Lauren enjoys meeting new people and has no problem making new friends. Lauren enjoys all center-wide sporting events and also plays on a softball team outside of the center.
Among her many accomplishments, Lauren is very proud to be a celebrated artist, and was featured during Art Celebration 2007. Her work has also been on display at several locations in Paducah. Lauren draws every day and shares her work at the center. Lauren has partnered with several local artists who work collaboratively with her and the other artists in the Easter Seals West Kentucky Art Program. She also has been commissioned for two paintings with the Charity League of Paducah.
Community inclusion, maximizing independence and promoting equality...these are the goals that are encouraged in all programs at Easter Seals West Kentucky. With the help of the Lions Club/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars, Lauren and those enrolled in the programs at ESWKY will continue to receive the services not only enhance their lives, but promote personal development!