Martin County PPEC Opens Doors to Serve Medically-Fragile and Complex Children

Martin County Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) opened its doors in early 2012 at 310 SW Ocean Blvd in downtown Stuart, FL as a medical day care center for special needs children, from newborn to 20 years of age, with complex and fragile medical, developmental, and technology dependent needs serving Martin and St. Lucie Counties.

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(L to R) Catherine and her mother, LeAnna Cothran at Martin County PPEC.

“Before Martin County PPEC, my life consisted of alarms, giving Catherine medicine, checking her heart rate and more,” said LeAnna. “Alarms became a way of life. You don’t realize the toll it takes being a full-time caregiver.

Stuart, FL (PRWEB) November 20, 2012

All expectant parents hope for their child to be born healthy and happy. Fortunately, most are. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every 33 babies born in the US will have some sort of birth defect - meaning that these new mothers and fathers must adapt not only to the challenge of becoming a new parent, but also to the challenge of becoming their fragile child's medical caretaker. Now the parents of these exceptional children have a new partner on the Treasure Coast to help share this responsibility and provide the best possible care available.

Martin County Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) opened its doors in early 2012 at 310 SW Ocean Blvd in downtown Stuart, FL as a medical day care center for special needs children, from newborn to 20 years of age, with complex and fragile medical, developmental, and technology dependent needs serving Martin and St. Lucie Counties. For the Cothran family, Martin County PPEC was a lifeline in their time of need.

“When Catherine was born, there were no resources in Martin County to help families like ours,” said LeAnna Cothran, mother of Catherine, a child born with complex and fragile medical needs. “We looked into home health agencies and some other potential options, but there was nothing that Medicaid or our private insurance would cover. There were some resources that could maybe help one time, but then you’re on your own. We found one door shut after another.”

LeAnna and her husband Tony learned at 26 weeks in utero that their daughter Catherine had a tumor in her heart. This was just the beginning of an expectant parent's worst nightmare as Catherine was diagnosed with conditions known as Superventricular Tachycardia (SVT) and Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. Together, these conditions cause Catherine’s heart to palpitate beating as fast as 290 BPM and has led to congestive heart failure. Her treatment requires close coordination with medical professionals as much of it is experimental or trial and error.

After several months of coping with Catherine's condition in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, a social worker shared the news with the Cothran’s that Martin County PPEC was opening in Stuart. They immediately contacted Martin County PPEC and on its second day of business Catherine attended her first day of medical day care.

“Before Martin County PPEC, my life consisted of alarms, giving Catherine medicine, checking her heart rate and more,” said LeAnna. “Alarms became a way of life. You don’t realize the toll it takes being a full-time caregiver. Martin County PPEC gives me peace of mind to know that I can work and that Catherine’s every need is being met. That break away from her gives us time to breathe and regroup to figure out how we will work it all out.”

Martin County PPEC is state licensed and regulated by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The 30-bed facility is operated by a team of experienced pediatric nurses expertly trained in the care of infants and children with special medical needs. The medical day care center offers parents and guardians peace of mind Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Martin County PPEC is fully equipped and staffed to accommodate children with medical conditions ranging from simple to severe, including respiratory problems, severe burns, cerebral palsy, post-transplants, tracheostomy care, oxygen administration, tube feeding, frequent medication administration, IV Administration, apnea monitoring, prematurity complications, congenital heart defects, lung defects and other congenital disorders, diabetes, failure to thrive, neurological disorders, colostomy, seizures, orthopedic conditions, plus much more.

In addition to medical intervention and attention, Martin County PPEC offers Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Developmental Planning and Interventions, Respiratory Therapy, Parent Support and Education, and Transportation, if qualified. Therapeutic toy filled rooms, onsite playgrounds, daily art, music, recreational programs, and field trips are part of the Martin County PPEC experience.

Parents and guardians can contact Martin County PPEC directly to refer their children to the pediatric program. Martin County PPEC will then contact the child’s physician in order to obtain a prescription and coordinate the child’s care. Physicians, case managers and social workers may also contact Martin County PPEC to refer children to the program.

For those children who qualify, transportation to and from Martin County PPEC will be provided in a safe and comfortable environment. Martin County PPEC also works together with school districts to coordinate education schedules.

Martin County PPEC Administrator Evelyn Duah said, “We understand the challenges that face the parents of medically fragile children. These parents are no longer alone. Martin County PPEC is here to help provide the highest quality care to medically fragile children while allowing parents the opportunity to return to work, school or just to take a rest from the demands of pediatric medical care.”

For more information, call Martin County PPEC at 772.288.6466.

About Martin County PPEC: Martin County Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) is a medical day care for special needs children, newborn to 20 years of age, with complex and fragile medical, developmental and technology dependent needs serving Martin and St. Lucie Counties. The pediatric nurses, physical therapist, speech therapist, and respiratory therapist provide specialized care for exceptional children to ensure each child’s optimal health and well-being in a fun, caring and educational environment.

Martin County PPEC is located at 310 SW Ocean Boulevard, Stuart, FL 34994. For more information, contact Martin County PPEC at 772.288.6466 or visit them online at http://www.MartinCountyPPEC.com.


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