Destiny USA is an attraction for most 23-year olds… and Vinnie Carroll III from Jamesville is no different. Sure, it takes more time and effort to get there – being that he uses a walker and wheelchair, and is connected to a trach and ventilator 24/7 – but he gets there. And, he enjoys it.
"He would come every day if he could," says Vinnie's father, Vinnie, Jr. "As it is, someone brings him two to three times a week."
Vinnie has had a life more difficult than any of us can imagine. He was born with prune belly syndrome, a condition that causes a build-up of fluid where your organs should be. He underwent two kidney transplants – one was rejected when he developed lymphoma; the second time, the medication caused him to develop pneumonia and lose most of his hearing. He also has severe scoliosis which required surgery.
His family has been through it all – a revolving door of doctors, therapists and treatments.
“I want to give him as much normalcy and the best quality of life that I can help him have,” says his mother, Therese.
That quality of life depends greatly on his ability to leave the house and have fun.
“We go to the movies, we go to the mall,” Therese says. “He loves to go in the summer to the Nationals Car Show at the fairgrounds. He loves to go to the fair and SU basketball and lacrosse.”
None of these activities would be possible if Vinnie still had the ventilator of the past – the “big old monster” as his mom calls it. It made leaving the home difficult. Registered Respiratory Therapists from Franciscan set Vinnie up on a Trilogy 100 ventilator by Philips Respironics in the past year. It weighs 10 lbs, comes with a shoulder strap and a 6-hour internal battery life.
“It allows the patient to have a life again,” says Tim Curtis, RRT. “They absolutely love it; they love the fact that they can get out and do things they have to do. Their breathing is easier for them and they are able to live a more normal life.”
Franciscan has the most advanced vents on the market – which accounts for the company serving more ventilator patients than any other company or hospital in the region.
“We take a lot of pride in our ventilator patients and the fact that we can take care of them away from the hospital,” says Curtis “They don’t have to stay in the hospital. They can come home and have a life.”
“It’s so much lighter and so much easier,” Theresa recounts. “My husband and I are both 53 years old, we throw it on our shoulder and hold Vinnie’s hand. It’s much more convenient and smaller; it’s much easier to move around. If Vinnie still had the big, bulky unit, we wouldn’t be able to go out. His wheelchair can’t accommodate that unit.”
The advanced technology, along with the support of Franciscan, has helped improve Vinnie’s life – and kept him the spitfire that he is.
“Our Respiratory Therapist Tim Curtis comes in anytime there’s an issue. I call him if I need him and he’s here in 20 minutes,” Therese says. “If there’s an issue with Vinnie’s breathing, there might need to be tweaks or changes to the settings, Tim will get on the phone with the doctor to make the changes. Franciscan has been fabulous supporting us.”
For information on Franciscan’s ventilator program, call 1-888-303-6677.