Lisa Finds her Voice with BAYADA

After three years of silence, Lisa D. speaks again with the help of her BAYADA care team

BAYADA client, Lisa with two of her nurses
Lisa D. with her BAYADA Clinical Manager Beatrice Lewis and BAYADA Nurse Shanta Waugh

Lisa D. is kind, loving, and always has a smile on her face, despite the struggles she faces everyday living with ALS. Like so many with this devastating disease, Lisa has lost her ability to walk and sit up and uses a tracheostomy and ventilator to help her breathe. Due to the progression of her disease, Lisa began receiving nursing services from another home health care agency, but then switched to BAYADA Home Health Care. Although she expected quality care from BAYADA, what she and her family got was more than they ever imagined.

BAYADA Clinical Manager, Beatrice (Bea) L, met Lisa for the first time when she went to her home to conduct the initial evaluation to determine the best plan of care. Bea learned that Lisa had been bed bound for three years, leaving her house only to attend doctors’ visits. In addition, Lisa lost her ability to speak after receiving her tracheostomy and ventilator, leaving her family heartbroken that they could no longer hear the sound of her voice.

One of the first goals of Lisa’s care plan was to give her some sense of independence by freeing her of being bound to her bed. Bea, along with Lisa’s team of nurses and caregivers, slowly worked with Lisa to help her sit up on the edge of her bed and then into a wheelchair. This gave Lisa a sense of freedom and comfort, improving her quality of life.

During Lisa’s care evaluation, Bea and her team, which includes respiratory and speech therapists, were told that Lisa could still swallow but had not spoken in three years. They knew that if Lisa could eat on her own, she should also be able to speak. The team asked Lisa if she would be willing to let them try a new process that may help her regain her voice. Lisa trusted Bea and her team of BAYADA caregivers, as they consistently provide excellent care, and was thrilled to have this opportunity.

Bea and the therapists carefully put the cuff down on Lisa’s tracheostomy collar and attached a speaking valve. After they finished adjusting the settings and a few moments had passed, Lisa said “Hi,” her first word in over three years!

Lisa’s family and care team were moved to tears by the sound of her voice. Her speech therapist assured Lisa and her family that with a bit of work, she would be able to speak fluidly. Now, Lisa is able to string together sentences with ease. Bea says, “Lisa is so deserving of this joyful moment. I call her my ’little angel’ because she always remains positive and is a pleasure to work with, even during her hardest days.”