We have to be really precautious about washing her hands, you know, common sanitizing type things. Her immune system will be suppressed forever because of her medication, so we have to be really cautious as she starts preschool in the fall about hand-washing techniques and other families, in terms of immunizations and any outbreaks that may occur in a school setting.
Mother of Hannah, 4
He does need some special care
It’s not something I want to blurt out, but when he’s in school, obviously the teachers need to be aware, because he does need some special care as far as hygiene goes, making sure the kids aren’t sick when he’s there. So you want to tell everyone; you have to let them know.
I’m a little sad sometimes that he has to be the kid that’s picked out as the one that’s sick or the one that’s always out, so that’s in the back of my mind a little bit. But he’s not self-conscious at all, he’s very confident and wants to be with all his friends and doesn’t know what the fuss is all about: “Why? I just get sick. That’s not a big deal.” So that’s good, and we’ve tried to tell him that, “You’re not different. You just have some special care, that’s all.”
Mother of Noah, 5
Going back to school
He came home from the hospital around February. He actually went back to school after April vacation, just to connect with his peers again a little bit and finish up the school year. And, you know, take part in the transition to the next grade class that he was going to go to.
At first he was feeling kind of separated from the class a bit. So he initially we just did like, half a day, just slowly get him back into the activity. But within one week, he was feeling fine and was going full day.
Mother of RJ, 12
To me, the academics will come
I’m trying to deal with the emotional side that I’m seeing, and to me, the academics will come. Like now, he’s in the 12th grade and since he’s had his transplant, he’s free to put his mind to the books where he couldn’t do it before! The teachers would say, “Oh, he’s daydreaming.” Well, Isaiah would verbally talk about living, dying. I think he was worried about that, and if you’re a kid, you’re going to be thinking about that!
Mother of Isaiah, 17
Going to college
When he went to college he registered with the disabled student department. They have a file on him and if he were to have a health issue and need to miss school they have a letter drafted to send to his professors explaining the situation. He also got a scholarship from this department at the end of his freshman year. The health center on campus has all of his records and is in contact with the hospital here so that they do the routine lab work and checkup while he is away. We informed the director of the dorm and his RA about his health condition in case of emergency, but we left it up to him as to whom else he told.