2022 Lansdowne Foundation Heroes Walk and Roll Ambassador
Story submitted by Mason’s Mom (Karissa Boughner) Mason was born at 27 weeks gestation weighing just 1.8lbs. Due to his weakened lungs, he required a lengthy hospital stay of 451 days at McMaster Children's Hospital. While there, he underwent numerous treatments, 3 surgeries and some very scary days to ultimately come home. Since Mason needed breathing support he had surgery for a tracheostomy in order to be able to be ventilated at home. As his parents, we did extensive training for three months to ensure his safety and set-up a mini intensive care unit in our living room. “Once arriving home, our family turned to Lansdowne for support. Mason needed help to develop the skills he didn't get the opportunity to during his first year and we needed guidance on the supports and resources available.” Despite the pandemic, Landowne adapted to provide virtual and outdoor sessions to ensure Mason could be kept safe but still develop his skills. We were directed to the HITs (Holistic Integrated Teams) as his needs were dispersed amongst several areas. The physiotherapist on the team was able to see Mason outside and observe his movements and stance. She was able to determine that Mason would benefit from wearing SMOs (a foot brace) to help support his gross motor skills and directed us to a business that could provide them. The occupational therapist created virtual sessions to engage Mason in various sensory play and fine motor tasks. She was able to recommend different strategies to help Mason overcome his sensory avoidance and strengthen his long fingers for fine motor tasks. The speech language pathologist provided guidance on how to develop Mason's communication skills through play despite Mason not being able to talk. He also submitted the paperwork for Mason to have access to a communication device. The social worker would touch base with us to ensure financial and emotional resources were being utilized as needed. Lansdowne helped our family to transition home from a hospital setting and ensured we were getting the help we needed. The biggest thing they did is instill confidence in us as parents that we were doing the right things and supporting us in the decisions we made for Mason's development plan. Lansdowne continues to provide support in Mason's development today. They helped him to have a successful entry to daycare by providing strategies to us and the provider on how to ease his transition into the new environment. He is currently learning to interact with other kids his age and follow routines. Lansdowne has also helped to prepare a report for his transition to school in the upcoming months and provide timelines of meetings to discuss his safety plans. We are very appreciative to Lansdowne for helping us to navigate Brantford as a parent of a medically complex child!