Care Coordination at Work: Brayden, Grace and Wendy

Care Coordinator Wendy smiles hugging Brayden.

Grace Davis describes her son Brayden as being a “bolter” when he was young. Brayden, who’s non-verbal, had a tendency to wander and run off, giving Grace and her husband great concerns for his safety.

Today, Brayden wears a special tracking device through Project Lifesaver, which not only helps in the event of an emergency, but provides Grace a constant feeling of security and relief.

Brayden’s tracking device and Grace’s sense of comfort wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Wendy Thompson, Brayden’s care coordinator. After Grace expressed concerns about Brayden’s safety, Wendy researched resources for the family. She then applied for and secured grant funding for the pricey, life-saving, tracking device.

Support, reassurance and comfort are common themes within the relationship between Wendy and the Davis family, who have been working together for around five years.

“I think a lot of parents feel like we have so much responsibility and there’s so much stress in our lives,” says Grace. “It’s nice to have somebody that we can depend on.”

Wendy supports Brayden and his family with everything from checking in with Brayden’s school teachers to answering questions Grace has about programs or disability programs.

“Whatever Grace is wondering about, whatever it is that she wants information about, I look it up and I get back to her,” says Wendy.

Grace jokes that she feels bad for constantly calling Wendy with questions because she knows she isn’t the only one on her caseload.

“I really feel like Brayden is cared for,” says Grace. “I know [Wendy] carries a heavy caseload, but she acts like we’re such a priority. Whether I need something big or small she follows up right away. I never feel like I’ve been forgotten.”

It doesn’t take a lot of time to make families feel important, says Wendy, who loves helping people and finding new programs, funding or resources available.

Grace says there were times where her concerns and questions about Brayden and his disability were pushed off and made to seem insignificant by professionals. In Wendy, Grace knows she has a helpful resource, a confidant and constant source of support.

“In a world where we’re always being put off by doctors, pharmacies, therapists and other people,” Grace says, “it’s nice to have someone in your corner who you can go to and depend on. Someone who’s going to listen and be there for you.”