Trudi Sturm has been providing care for three-year-old G.P. for almost a year. She stays with him when G.P.’s mom is at work and his teenage siblings are at school. When recounting their first meeting, Trudi beams. “Oh, I loved him from that first day. He’s the cutest little thing.”
G.P. requires special care because he is very fragile, developmentally delayed, and is failing to thrive. However, this hasn’t been an obstacle for Trudi and the baby to form a bond. “I taught him colors and numbers, and he’s catching on pretty quickly.” And despite his health issues, his little personality is already shining through. “He loves Mickey Mouse! We just came back from Disney with Make a Wish, and he had such a wonderful time! It was so gratifying to see him enjoy himself so much.”
On a typical day, Trudi shows up for her shift. G.P.’s mom has already left the humidifier on to make it easier for her son to breathe. Trudi flushes his feeding tube and does trach and g-tube care. She changes his diaper, places drops in his eyes because he has glaucoma, and she turns him over. He has an apnea monitor when he’s sleeping, so Trudi keeps a very close eye on him throughout her entire shift.
Although G.P. sleeps a lot, Trudi always makes sure he has a nice time when he’s awake: “I go there, I play with him with a couple of Disney toys I got him. His walking and coordination have shown remarkable progress. He’s a sweetheart. He’s so cute, and he’s learning so much now, and he’s even talking a little bit, even though he has a trach.”
Asked about what she enjoys the most from her time with G.P., Trudi doesn’t hesitate: “He loves to sing and dance. I got him a Mickey Mouse that dances, and he loves when we play with it. He’s so cute. I love this baby.”
One-on-one home care has provided G.P. with a nurse who is passionate about her work and delighted to see him grow and improve every day. It has also given Trudi the opportunity to have a fulfilling career. “I’ve wanted to become a nurse ever since I can remember. I’ve always wanted to feel like I was helping people.” Mission accomplished.