The Children's Institute Blog

Marking Respiratory Care Week

Posted: Oct 23, 2017 by The Children's Institute

Brady Lumpkin is set to be discharged from The Children’s Institute tomorrow, the second day of Respiratory Care Week.

Patient Brady receiving respiratory careBut to Brady, a respiratory care patient who soon turns 25, the day is yet another step in a long journey.

The West Virginia by-way-of Oklahoma native was riding April 30 as a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle, or ATV – something he’s been doing his whole life – when his driver hit what he called “a good-size rock.” He suffered a spinal cord injury and lost use of his limbs. But, since coming to The Children’s Institute, he has made strides.

“He came with a trach and on full-ventilator support,” said Respiratory Care Clinical Supervisor Lyndsi Yarkosky, RRT-NPS. “Within a few months, we were able to fully wean Brady off of the vent. Along with his continuous diaphragmatic pacer, he uses a Passy-Muir valve during the day and his trach mask at night.”

Brady, for one, has appreciated each step along the way, he told me as speech-language pathologist Katie Hartman fed him nectar-thick liquids.

“It’s been tough but I’m making progress,” Brady said.

“Really, seeing his progress is awesome,” added Tiffany Oldfield, 22, Brady’s girlfriend.

Katie said much of his progress in being able to communicate is due to the fact that he also weaned off what is known as a cuffed trach.

“His voice was a lot better once we got rid of that,” Katie said. “His vocal folds got more sturdy.”

The goal of the nine-person respiratory care team, in fact, is to wean off those breathing aids, Lyndsi said.

“We’re pretty successful with weaning,” Lyndsi said. “Along with the doctors, we’re collaborating with the patient and the providers for weaning – weaning off oxygen, weaning off a ventilator, and working toward decannulation [no more trach] in many cases.”

The team takes its job – and things like infection control – seriously and it shows. Lyndsi said she cannot recall a single incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia during her eight-year tenure here.

“And a large part of our job is also to provide education and train the family,” she added.

In Brady’s case, that’s Tiffany, who will care for him when the two return to West Union, W. Virg. this week.

“There’s been tough times,” Tiffany admitted.

But, tomorrow, there’s even more reason for hope.

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