Pleasure Guild of Nationwide Children’s Hospital


David was a preemie, born at only 28 weeks in 1985. 28 weeks is very small even now, but in 1985 it was extremDavid pictureely small. David was in the neonatal intensive care unit for 81 days. His lungs hadn’t developed enough, so he needed ventilator support which caused eye damage and blindness. He also developed a seizure disorder and at the age of 5 required a g-tube for feeding.

David’s mom, Ruth, was determined to provide him with every possible advantage. He started an early childhood developmental program at the age of 8 months and received regular therapy and early education to maximize his development. At the age of 4 he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Despite ongoing health issues, David had a full and active childhood. He went to school, enjoyed playgrounds, especially the swings, swimming, and camping with his family. One of his particular delights was riding on a 3 wheeler with his big brother Mike.

At 22 David began to take part in an adult daycare and workshop that provided continued activity and socialization. In 2010 David’s health started to decline. He began to be admitted to the hospital more frequently for recurring infections, pneumonias, bowel and shunt problems. Despite these health issues, David at 29 years old continues to have a full life. He lives at home with his mom. He enjoys church, music, toys that make noise, and sitting in the sun. He loves his aunts, especially his Aunt Ruby and Aunt Loretta and going out to Ponderosa with his mom and family friend Brad. David has his own set of friends from his church and the staff at Ponderosa!

Because of his declining health, David was referred to Home Based Palliative Care in 2014. David and Ruth are visited regularly by nurses and a chaplain. Ruth understands the natural decline that David is experiencing. She is determined to keep him healthy and comfortable and to avoid hospitalizations if possible. Ruth is grateful for the support of the Palliative Care Team. “I don’t feel so alone. I know I can call and talk to a nurse who knows David anytime that I need to if I’m worried about him or I have a question. I know that they care about him too.”

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