Until he was 10, the only place Bryan had lived was a facility far away from his family. Born with multiple life-threatening health problems, he was not expected to live very long. His family reluctantly heeded the doctor’s advice to put him in a nursing facility. Its remote, rural location made it hard for Bryan’s parents and siblings to visit often. And the lack of Spanish-speaking staff made it hard for them to communicate.
Years later, with Bryan’s health declining, doctors advised he should move closer to the advanced medical services he needed available only in a larger metropolitan area. The recommended services happened to be closer to his family. While his family was delighted their son would be nearby, circumstances prevented them from meeting his complicated care needs at home.
EveryChild offered the possibility of finding a Support Family for Bryan. His dad was very skeptical. Could a family handle Bryan’s medical needs? Did this mean giving up his son? Would another family try to replace Bryan’s family? Would they really be open to Bryan’s family being involved in his life? Doubtful, he would believe it when he saw it. He challenged EveryChild: “Show me.”
EveryChild staff knew they would have to find a family that would allay his fears. They found a Support Family near Bryan’s family. As soon as they met, Bryan’s father felt a connection. The family spoke Spanish. They had experience caring for children with medical needs. They lived very close to the medical facility where Bryan had to go three times a week. And they immediately warmly welcomed Bryan’s family to be part of his life. Now, the families have melded into one big extended family.
When Bryan got his first “big boy buzz” haircut, he was accompanied by his two dads—his dad and his Support Dad. This milestone of childhood is just one of many happy activities Bryan has shared with two families that love him dearly.