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Being sick will not get youngsters out of this faculty

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In some ways, Marie Soza and Sumer Duhon are typical CCISD academics.

They train class within the morning. They’re multihyphenates: teacher-cheerleader-mom …

“… social worker-psychologist-chaplain …,” Soza completed.

However as a substitute of sending their youngsters to P.E., they ship them to P.T. Or, in some instances, bodily remedy involves them.

Soza and Duhon are the 2 totally licensed workers academics on the Driscoll Youngsters’s Hospital faculty, a collaboration between the CCISD and the hospital. Soza has been with this system for 12 years, because it was restarted in 2007 after a scarcity of funding ended this system, briefly, in 2004. However via neighborhood and company donations, the varsity is a totally funded classroom on the hospital’s eighth ground, outfitted with books, faculty provides, and most issues a typical classroom has.

And identical to all the opposite CCISD faculty, class for the Driscoll college students begins Monday.

And even issues one would not. Like hospital robes for ‘uniforms.’ And bodily therapists. And bikes. Within the hallways.

“We correlate the youngsters’ faculty schedules with their medical schedules,” Soza mentioned. “So lots of instances they’ve therapies, and a therapist will are available right here and work with them. We’re a staff.”

No, actually.

“In (the classroom), bodily remedy,” Soza mentioned. “(We’ll inform them) do two math issues, get up and down 10 instances. Do two math issues, stand up and get up. You’ve got gotta bike across the hallway? Let’s do your multiplication tables as you go within the hallway. And the therapists will say, to us, ‘Can you’ve gotten them use their left hand?’ OK. No downside. OK, you’ll want to use your left hand. And we’ll hand them one thing to ’em — ‘You gotta use your left hand.’ “

The one limitations between the youngsters’ quite a few hospital caretakers are HIPAA safety legal guidelines. Docs, nurses, speech therapists and bodily therapists all work in tandem to verify the entire affected person is being cared for. It is pure at Driscoll — what they wish to name “The Driscoll Means” — {that a} kid’s studying is an extension of their care, and that their nurses or medical doctors assist re-enforce what the academics try to perform in class.

College additionally helps normalize their atypical lives.

“College is what they’re used to,” mentioned Robin Smith, Driscoll’s director of affected person and household providers. “That is their job.”

Duhon additionally believes faculty helps the youngsters neglect about their predicaments and ache, a minimum of for a short time.

“It offers them a very good distraction from no matter else is occurring — medically,” she mentioned. “It places their mind working, and never specializing in ‘My leg hurts’ or ‘Oh, I simply do not feel good’ or ‘My head hurts.’ “

And each imagine their responsibility of care extends to after their college students have left the hospital. They collaborate with the varsity college students attend once they return house.

Soza has a pupil who’s what she calls a “frequent flyer,” a pupil with a persistent sickness that will require the kid to be hospitalized on and off for years. She came upon the scholar was failing a category after he had been discharged.

“I will name the varsity (and ask) ‘Why is he failing English?’ ” she mentioned. “(And his trainer will say) ‘Effectively, he hasn’t performed …”

“He hadn’t performed something since February,” Duhon completed. “And it was Could.”

“(So I will say) ship me the stuff he has to make up,” Soza mentioned. “And that is what we’ll work on.”

They get artistic with their instruction, as soon as designing a nail-salon ‘enterprise’ for a really younger lady, and making eggrolls and fried rice to show their college students about Chinese language New 12 months. They even made a selfmade soy sauce as a result of one among their college students’ diets did not permit sodium.

That is one other hyphen: dietician.

“Diabetes — it is 10 o’clock, they should have their snack,” mentioned Soza, “In order that they take their snack up with them. The nephrology youngsters, some can — want — to drink lots of water, and a few cannot drink in any respect. So that you simply be taught: ‘Two issues. OK drink. Two issues — gotta drink. Two issues — you gotta drink.’

Each Soza and Duhon have private connections to the hospital. Soza misplaced her 6-year-old son to most cancers inside its partitions, and Duhon was a pupil who benefited from the varsity’s new life as a seventh grader in 2007. She vividly remembers taking her TAKS check in her hospital mattress within the month she was there combating off simultaneous pertussis and pneumonia. She mentioned, on the time, she by no means realized she was benefitting from providers that she would later cross onto others.

“I simply by no means thought something about it,” she mentioned. “Till right here I’m being a trainer in a hospital.”

For his or her college students who’re immunosupressed, or too weak to go upstairs, faculty involves them.

“Generally all you are able to do is go learn,” Soza mentioned. “We’ve got a boy, he is coming again, and I’ve my ‘Hardy Boys’ e book. So I’d go learn to him bedside. That is how we acquired him going. (One other affected person) I’d go in and browse to her, even after hours, I would just learn, and browse and browse. And he or she would sleep, and he or she’d get up (and say) ‘Simply maintain studying.’ ”

And seeing their college students like that is among the hardest components of the job.

“I haven’t got to go house and grade papers, however I do should go house and fear about my youngsters,” Duhon mentioned. “What occurs once they depart the hospital? You get so shut to those youngsters.”

She’s solely been on the job since January, so she hasn’t personally skilled dropping a pupil she labored intently with for an prolonged time period.

“I am terrified for that day to occur,” she mentioned.

However via instructing their fragile youngsters, Duhon and Soza have realized loads from their youngsters, too, like power, laughter, humor and unconditional love.

“The straightforward issues,” mentioned Duhon. “To like the easy issues. To return as much as the eighth ground and be on the very best ground and look out and simply merely see the ocean. As a result of some youngsters dwell right here, in Corpus, and have by no means been to the seaside. And it’s stunning. The dawn up right here on the eighth ground is gorgeous.”

“A few years in the past,” Soza mentioned. “I got here up and it was early, and the solar was simply developing and it was a medical pupil. He was looking the window and he was (seemingly hugging the window), and he mentioned ‘I come up right here each morning at dawn to present thanks for my day. How fortunate are we? And I do the identical factor now. I get off that elevator and I look on the market, and I at all times say ‘Thanks.’ Thanks for what I get to do, and thanks for what they get to do, for me.’ “




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