Kayra was born extremely premature at 24 weeks gestation and was immediately rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Blank Children's Hospital. In the NICU, Kayra was very sick. She had low blood pressure, Group B Streptococcus blood infection, loss of kidney function and needed a machine to breathe for her because her lungs were not developed. Kayra required two surgeries. The first surgery was to close a hole in her heart. The second surgery was to place a feeding tube into her stomach to allow her to eat safely.
The SHINE Palliative Care team met with Kayra and her mother in the NICU to provide an additional layer of support through the ups and down of her hospitalization. In collaboration with the NICU team, the SHINE team helped Kayra and her mother by ensuring that their physical, social, emotion, spiritual and financial concerns were being addressed.
The SHINE team offered information on available resources, assistance with medical communication, and help establishing the family's goals of care. SHINE provided several supportive visits to Kayra and her mother throughout their 16 week NICU stay. Kayra's mother also received support from a variety of interdisciplinary team members.
The SHINE team's care did not stop at the hospital. They were there for the family after hospital discharge and have continued to provide support to Kayra and her mother to this day. The team makes regular in-home visits to help with care coordination, health care referrals, community resources, symptom management and goal setting.
Kayra is now 4 years old. She has cerebral palsy, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, severe bilateral retinopathy, bilateral cochlear implants and is G-tube dependent. Kayra likes playing with her toys and watching cartoons. Kayra also enjoys attending preschool at Jesse Franklin Taylor Education Center.