Compassionate care is Kate Detwiler’s calling, both at work and at home. At Children’s National Hospital she is Program Lead for the Complex Care Program within the Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health. This multidisciplinary team provides a primary care medical home for children and their families facing complex medical conditions.
Kate’s coworkers lent support and shared knowledge when she and her husband, Brian, considered adopting a medically complex child in 2016. Nolan was born with a birth defect called complex gastroschisis. Only 10 to 15 percent of his intestines were viable, resulting in short bowel syndrome. This would impact his immune system and his ability to eat, absorb nutrients, and grow.
Nolan’s parents were still learning about his medical challenges when they met and fell in love with him at Children’s National. “At that point, my husband insisted this baby should have parents advocating for him, soothing him and caring for him, and that those parents should be us,” Kate recalls. “We signed our intent to adopt in the family room on the Intestinal Rehabilitation Unit.”
Nolan, now 4, turned out to be a fighter. Expert care and a loving family have helped him thrive. His mom says he’s brilliant and learning to spell. “He’s a dare devil,” says Kate, who recently caught him climbing a tree. “He loves his scoot bike, his dog and building blocks.” Nolan requires intensive home health care and visits the hospital often.
“Support of my colleagues at Children’s National and the clinical expertise across the hospital gave us the confidence to adopt Nolan.” Kate says. “His growth and his ability to thrive are very much rooted at 111 Michigan Ave.”
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