Becky Martine didn’t quite know what to think after taking a call from Debra Magaraci, the director of the BAYADA Pediatrics office in Voorhees, NJ. After all, the only thing Debra would reveal was that a surprise was waiting for Becky and her son Luke, 5, a BAYADA Pediatrics client.
Mother and son were asked to meet Debra at BAYADA’s new global support center in Pennsauken, NJ, which recently opened as the nerve center for BAYADA’s support offices, including accounting, human resources, training, communications, and IT. The new facility will result in cost savings by bringing together more than 400 employees who are currently working in office locations in six counties
On the morning of July 18 with Luke in tow, Becky, accompanied by Luke’s “MeMom” Rosie, and his nurse Debbie Noonan, walked into the main lobby of 4300 Haddonfield Avenue in Pennsauken to discover some unexpected guests waiting for her—BAYADA Chairman Mark Baiada, Manager Janice Lovequist, Debra, and Luke’s Clinical Manager Lori Wescott, RN
Following some pleasantries, Debra ushered the small group into the elevator. When the doors opened on the second floor, Becky walked out first, looked to her right, and practically broke into tears.
There, staring back at her, was a larger than life image of Luke, smiling happily while sitting on Lori’s lap.
“Oh my goodness. This is amazing!” exclaimed Becky.
MeMom Rosie echoed her daughter’s sentiments. “It’s unbelievable!” she said, wiping away unexpected tears.
A brief story of Luke and Lori accompanies the image: Luke was born with Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS), a rare genetic disorder that affects the automatic control of breathing, primarily during sleep. When Luke is awake, he breathes normally, but when he goes to sleep, his respiratory system also goes to sleep. Fortunately, a tracheostomy and ventilator ensure that his breathing continues throughout the night. Luke’s team of nurses monitor his tracheostomy, ventilator, and vital signs when he sleeps, suction his tracheostomy during the day, and help ensure he is a happy, content little boy.
The image of Luke and Lori is one of a number of client and caregiver photos and stories displayed on walls throughout the buildings, reminding all who will work in this beautiful new space of the commitment to The BAYADA Way vision of helping millions of people worldwide have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity.
For all of the fanfare around his photo, Luke seemed quite indifferent to the attention. Rather, the little boy was much more intent on using his action figure to ‘stun’ Lori, who froze in place, pretending to play along. In the meantime, the group enjoyed a tour of the bright and spacious office space, introducing “Super Luke” to friendly BAYADA staff as they walked by.
Becky expressed her appreciation for BAYADA’s hospitality and their choice of using Luke’s likeness to adorn their walls. “I had no idea why Debra asked me to come here today,” she said. “Then seeing Luke’s picture, it took my breath away.”
BAYADA Pediatrics provides nursing care at home and school for children from birth through adolescence with a wide range of medical diagnoses. These include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, respiratory disorders, brain injuries, seizures disorders, and failure to thrive. Nurses receive age and diagnosis-specific training, including tracheostomy and ventilator care training as appropriate.