A Story From The Heart

In the early 2000’s Kyle Smith, CEO of PATCHES, a newly qualified RN, learned of a young mother living in Deep South Dade who was dependent on “borrowing” electricity from her neighbor to keep her baby alive on a ventilator. The mom fell out with her neighbor, who denied access to her power. The mom trudged in the heat of summer with her oxygen deprived baby in her arms to the nearest medical center for help. By the time she arrived the child had passed.

Kyle was devastated and knew she had to find an answer. In her own words, she felt deeply that by walking away she would become part of the problem.

This is the story of two remarkable women, who 15 years ago mortgaged their homes to finance outfitting a nursing center that would bring nursing care and therapies to a disadvantaged community. Theirs has been a continuous act of courage, leading the fight for medical rights on behalf of all children with medically complex illness since PATCHES inception..

In 2006, directors Kyle Smith and Joanie Ippolito, opened the doors of PATCHES PPEC, a licensed, not for profit pediatric nursing center, housed in a store front in Florida City.

PATCHES is open 12 hours daily, 5 days a week, for children birth -21, offering professional nursing services, all therapies, nutrition and a self- funded respiratory therapy and education program, for 65 children with extraordinary illness, all under one roof.

At PATCHES each child is implicitly valued and loved, enabling parents to continue to work, knowing their child is receiving the professional care and support they need. PATCHES has invested in its own EMT manned bus service to pick up children daily from all over South Dade and Monroe County, to bring them to and from the center, and to hospitals for follow up medical appointments.

PATCHES understands that with every child comes a family struggling to balance their lives and manage their child’s health. PATCHES reaches out to guide and support parents, and provide a network of support for families in need.

Children at PATCHES may be:

  • Terminally ill
  • Preemies making up 49% of the PATCHES population
  • Recovering from complex surgeries
  • Suffering with asthma, respiratory issues
  • Have life threatening Cardiac issues
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Rare genetic disorders
  • Pre and post Organ transplants
  • Born with AIDS
  • Down Syndrome children with medically complex issues
  • 59% children in poverty make up the PATCHES population
  • 50.3% children are from single family homes

PATCHES also provides free care for any child who is ineligible for MEDICAID and does not have the means to pay.

No child is turned away regardless of their ability to pay!

PATCHES turns to the community for help to provide for the many essential programs, medications, therapies and collateral expenses for the needs of the children at PATCHES, often declined by MEDICAID. It’s a cost that runs into hundreds of thousands annually.

For these and all other necessities, HEARTBEATS FOR PATCHES reaches out to friends in the community for help.

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