Aging Out of Pediatrics and Finding a Medical Home: Caitlin’s Story
Caitlin, a New Jersey resident and 19-year-old with cerebral palsy has recently “aged out” of her pediatric care team that she has seen her whole life. Like many others in the CP community who experience "aging out", the daunting question of “where do I go next” becomes very overwhelming. Caitlin had to find a new medical home fast, as she was starting to experience foot pain.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do, I needed to find someone who understood my CP and somewhere that could be my new medical home. Luckily, I found out about the Weinberg Family CP Center through my Physical Therapist and met with Dr. Joshua Hyman right away. He has already been so helpful, and we have started planning my care journey for the future,” said Caitlin.
Caitlin was born at 28 weeks along with her twin sister, Allie. Caitlin was in the NICU for 6 months and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. “Now 19 years later, my twin sister, who doesnt have CP, is moving out of the house to go off to college. She has really helped encourage me to become more independent the last few years since she won't be around to help. Even in the last year alone, I am amazed at what I have been able to accomplish independently, and I am looking forward to the future.”
Caitlin has already had 23 surgeries over her lifetime and is set to have surgery with Dr. Hyman next year. She will be documenting her medical journey through her social media channels and hopes to use her experiences to talk more about CP and share her journey of transition from pediatrics to adult care.
Caitlin is currently taking motivational speaking classes and starting to ramp up her social media and youtube accounts to start a full time career. In her free time she enjoys dancing with Dancing Dreams and mono skiing alongside her sister who is a University ski racer. She will also be joining the CP Center’s Patient and Family Advisory Council to help bring her perspective and point of view to the group, to better serve the patients of WFCPC.
Caitilin's social media channels:
YouTube Channel: Caitlin McConnell