Last week there was the usual quiet hum of conversation at Young & Healthy. Clients and staff were quietly discussing health options for their children or which insurance plans would work best for their families. Suddenly it wasn’t so quiet. I heard a very animated voice say, “OMG, OMG I can’t believe it! You are the best, thank you! I was so lucky to find you–thank you, thank you! I think I will actually be able to sleep tonight.”
Curiosity got the best of me, and as the woman left our office, I inquired about the happy outburst. It turns out she had just moved to California, leaving her health insurance behind, and she is eight months pregnant. Our insurance specialist was able to maneuver through the insurance options and get her covered pretty quickly. Wow, no wonder she was happy!
You just never know what a day at Young & Healthy will bring; so glad this service brought so much relief!
Sometimes we can’t explain what Young & Healthy does for kids any better than this! Below, gratitude comes from within a homeless shelter.
You can be brave…with a little help.
Gabrielle was so scared. She would not open her mouth for our nurse to do a screening. After much gentle cajoling, she finally opened her mouth and the nurse could see why she was so scared. Gabrielle’s mouth was a mess and she would certainly need extensive dental work at our clinic.
The quick thinking nurse asked Gabrielle to write down three things she would want the dentist to know:
1. “I want to have clean teeth.”
2. “I want to have healthy teeth.”
3. “I am really scared, so please tell me everything you are going to do.”
That simple note followed Gabrielle through the clinic. Each dentist responded with gentle encouragement every step of the way. Gabrielle completed six appointments in one week. She left the clinic with a brilliant smile and a real sense of accomplishment. Those wonderful dentists helped her be brave when she wasn’t sure she could be.
When Paths Cross
Twelve-year-old Dembelo has never walked or talked. His parents were told that he has cerebral palsy. As if that weren’t enough, Dembelo also had a seizure every day for twelve years!
Luckily, Dembelo’s family came to Pasadena from Nigeria so his father could study theology at Fuller Seminary. While their time in the United States will be short, it has changed everything.
Dembelo was recently running low on his medicine and the family found its way to Young & Healthy. For the first time ever, Dembelo had a full neurological work up, where it was discovered that he does not have cerebral palsy at all. He actually has a seizure disorder. A change in medication was prescribed and like magic, everything was different. Dembelo has not had a single seizure!
His father was so grateful and ecstatic about this miracle that he insisted on giving a gift of clothing from his country to our staff.
Young & Healthy assists one CHILD at a time and hence, changes one life at a time.
It Took A “Village”:
Last week, every single member of our referral team was on a call at the same time– for one child.
Maribella had come to apply for Medi-Cal but it quickly became evident to the staff that they were witnessing a true mental health emergency. Even without speaking to each other, they just KNEW they could not let this mother leave our office without the help she needed for her child. They flew into action.
A long history of devastating family tragedy brought them to this day, and at just 11 years old, Maribella’s child was hearing voices telling her to hurt herself.
Call: The on-site school therapist and ask for an emergency assessment of the young girl.
Call: Arrange for a next-day therapy appointment with our volunteers at Fuller Child Guidance Clinic.
Call: Our colleagues at Pacific Clinics for a complete psychiatric assessment.
Call: Medi-Cal to get them on the FAST TRACK for insurance approval.
By the time Maribella left our office two hours later, her child had been evaluated and deemed in psychological crisis, a next-day appointment at Fuller had been arranged and a follow-up appointment with Pacific Clinics had been set.
For anyone who has even dabbled in case management, achieving even one of those services in a day would be a miracle. It is a testament to both our staff and to the wonderful relationships we have with colleagues and volunteers in the community that made this possible.
This family has a long road ahead, but they are now, at least, ON THE ROAD. Young & Healthy will be there with them as they tackle these next steps.
Some days it truly does take a village–the YOUNG & HEALTHY village.