Diagnosis: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
Services used: Respiratory, infusion nursing and pharmacy
Born with the most damaging type of spinal muscular atrophy – type I – Mary Kate isn’t strong enough to walk, sit up by herself, or most importantly, clear her own airway. She cannot cough on her own, so normal secretions from her lungs block her ability to breathe.
PHS respiratory therapists team up with her family to ensure they have the support necessary to maintain airway clearance and help her stay healthy at home, where she is safest. PHS provided numerous therapies and technologies, such as interpulmonary percussive ventilation, which ‘shakes’ Mary Kate’s lungs clear.
Mary Kate wasn’t expected to live past two; she’s now a teenager and living at home.