| Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

Chelsea is a 13 year old young lady, who is home-bound due to being severely medically fragile. Chelsea has many medical issues, including a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, and very, very limited motor skills. She has cortical blindness, cerebral palsy, and severe brain damage from lack of oxygen at birth. She has to have a nurse with her at all times, to help her breathe, and to deal with frequent seizures.

Chelsea used to get therapy at a private clinic, but not only was getting her and all of her equipment to the clinic difficult– the family was eventually told that since she was “not making progress”, she would no longer be seen. Her local school district has reduced her in-home therapy to about a half hour per month, again, because she was “not progressing”.

Chelsea’s home nurses and family were desperate to continue therapy to keep Chelsea comfortable and happy– and to learn what they could do on a daily basis to promote overall health. They knew, that even if new skills might not be learned, that comfort and maintaining quality of life were very important… and that Chelsea’s therapy needs would be always changing.

Therapy for Chelsea has become increasingly important over the past year, as she is growing and her body is getting bigger, she is having increasing orthopedic issues. The most serious of which is a chronic hip dislocation causing severe pain. Providing in-home guidance on positioning, specialized equipment, wheelchair adjustments, and splinting has been invaluable to keeping Chelsea in minimal pain. In addition, Chelsea loves attention and interaction, and helping her family find new and interesting activities for Chelsea is part of weekly therapy. Watching a smile spread across her face is like magic!!

The Elks Therapy Program has been there for Chelsea, when other agencies had “given up”. Thanks to all the WA Elks!!!

Washington State Elks Association