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Sweetser Case Managers Help Single Dad With Epileptic Son

Steve wakes his son, Alex, by 4 a.m., to drive from their home in western Maine to Boston Children's Hospital for Alex's appointment. "We have done this many, many times before," Steve tells me over the telephone.

Alex was born with brain damage as a result of a stroke before birth. Now nearly 20, Alex faces a host of health issues, including epilepsy and cognitive and physical disabilities. "It's been a long road for him," said his father. "Alex was in the Intensive Care Unit for several weeks after he was born, and then the epilepsy kicked in."

Alex's brain damage caused physical problems, mental retardation and seizures. "He's needed different medications, special education services, and physical therapy," his dad tells me.

I ask Steve to tell me about his son's interests and he answers enthusiastically, "Alex loves sports and ESPN. He collects jerseys and although he doesn't play sports himself, he's going to manage one of his school teams. The coach, who will work with Alex, said he is really excited about being part of the team."

Still, the single dad shared his new concerns. "Alex is getting older, and his mother has not been a part of his life." Steve helps Alex become an adult alone.

Help for Steve came in the way of Child Case Management Services through Sweetser. "Before case management," he said, "I didn't know what was out there for my son. I needed a heads-up."

Sweetser case managers attend school meetings with Steve, help him apply for adult guardianship and supplemental security income for Alex, and apply for adult case management services, once he turned 18.

"Our case manager observes Alex to see for herself where he is at and meets with me to talk about his health, schooling, and where we go from here."

Steve, who works full time, has now enrolled Alex in a day program with Sweetser's help. "We checked places out together," he said. "I wouldn't have known what to do. It makes such a different just to be knowledgeable of what's available."

To protect the privacy of the family, their names have been changed.

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Good Afternoon- You are in receipt of this note because my wife and I consider you as one of the several kindhearted people to enter into our daughter's life and assist her on her journey through a tough few years. Over those years, we would tout her progress only to jinx it. She would move...

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