Guide to Halloween Pt. 1: Trick or Treating with Special Needs

October 20, 2016

trick or treat

Halloween!  What an amazing time of the year!  Halloween is a time when kids all over the country get dressed up, knock on neighbor’s doors, and say “trick or treat!”  People decorate their homes, visit haunted houses, and attend costume parties.  This is a time that everybody loves, right?  However, imagine this Halloween scenario instead.  Everyone is getting ready to go outside to begin trick or treating.  Everyone has their costumes on except for Billy.  Billy is refusing to put his costume on because the tag is itchy and he doesn’t like to wear a mask.  Or maybe he is confused…Read More

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Fact vs. Fiction: Down syndrome

October 17, 2016

down syndrome awareness

Knowledge and understanding of Down syndrome has come a long way. The first confirmed case of the disorder was found in a person who lived about 1,500 years ago and it wasn’t accurately identified until 1866. Despite all we know about its causes, risk factors, and the wonderful people who live full lives with it, many myths still surround Down syndrome. Here are a few of those myths and the facts that bust them: Fiction: Life with Down syndrome is sad Fact: People with Down syndrome can live full, productive, and happy lives. Parents of children with Down syndrome often…Read More

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Celebrating Cora – Epic Patient Superstar

August 30, 2016

Cora McDonald

We’re excited to announce our latest Epic Patient Superstar! Cora McDonald, a 3-year-old Epic Pediatric Therapy patient, has been diagnosed with Tay-Sachs which is a rare genetic degenerative disease. This diagnosis has presented Cora with significant health care challenges, but that doesn’t stop her from working to the best of her ability in her weekly physical and occupational therapy sessions with the Epic team. Cora is an extraordinary young lady who has touched countless lives in first three years of life. “Children with Tay-Sachs usually die by the age of three or four years old. Cora just turned three, so…Read More

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Maira Junaid – Epic Patient Superstar

June 21, 2016

8 year old Maira Junaid is our Epic Patient Superstar, and we’re thrilled to tell you her story! A sweet young lady, who happens to be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, chronic hypoventilatory respiratory failure, bronchopneumonia, and Bronchiectasis, is as tough as her diagnoses are to spell. Her family recently moved to the United States from Pakistan for advanced cystic fibrosis treatment. Maira has been receiving physical therapy, enteral nutrition therapy, and respiratory services from Epic since April 2016. Since then, she has made slow improvements and stabilization; however, Maira is critically ill, requiring continuous intensive evaluations and monitoring. She is…Read More

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Care for the Caregiver

May 27, 2016


Perhaps you’ve just received the diagnosis that your child has a special need or disability. Or maybe you’re not new to this diagnosis as a family, and you’re managing through the daily challenges of ensuring your child is getting the best care and therapy he or she needs. Your focus is on your child, as it should be. However, the health and wellness of the caretaker is also extremely important. The adage “take care of you, so that you can take care of others” has never been more on point. It’s the remembering of this philosophy that most of us…Read More

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Cri du Chat Syndrome – “Cry of the Cat”

May 26, 2016

cri du chat syndrome

The 5P Minus syndrome, also called Cri du Chat syndrome (or CdCS), is a genetic disorder caused due to a lack of a portion of chromosome  number 5. Those born with this missing or shortened chromosome have a distinctive “cat cry” or kitten-like cry (soft cry), due to an undeveloped larynx, which can deepen as a child grows older. Lower birth weight, smaller head circumference, and developmental delays are common in children with Cri du Chat syndrome. During May, the 5P Minus Society and Cri du are working to educate others about this extremely rare condition that affects approximately…Read More

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Epic Staff Superstar – Chanika Murray

April 5, 2016

Epic nurses have a servant’s heart and they live this out on a daily basis. No matter who needs their care, they always jump in to help. Licensed Practical Nurse Chanika Murray in our St. Louis, Missouri branch not only saved the day, she saved a life! Chanika performed life-saving CPR on a family member of the patient she regularly cares for. While working in the pediatric patient’s home, Chanika was notified by the grandmother that the patient’s sister was found unresponsive. Chanika quickly responded and assessed the situation concluding that the sibling had no respirations and no pulse. She…Read More

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Your Difficulty Swallowing Might be a Sign of Dysphagia

March 31, 2016


The difficulty some may experience when swallowing is called dysphagia. Dysphagia is caused by a compression commonly associated with obstructive disorders or a motor disorder of the esophagus. Difficulty swallowing is most common in older adults, babies, and people who have problems of the brain. There are a variety of problems that may cause the throat and the esophagus from functioning properly; some of these are minor, and others are more serious. If you or someone you know is having trouble swallowing on a regular basis, it might be a more serious problem that might require treatment. Dysphagia symptoms can…Read More

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Ivan Avila Greeted the Pope!

March 3, 2016

Spina Bifida

Though most with aspirations to meet and be blessed by one of the world’s most notable religious leaders, the Pope, will likely never have the opportunity to achieve this desire, Epic’s own Ivan Avila and his parents are among the few whose dream was realized during the Pope’s recent visit to Juarez, Mexico. Diagnosed at an early age with Osteogenesis imperfecta (also known as Brittle Bone Disease), Ivan has required specialized care to ensure he is best protected from potential accidents which can very easily break one or more bones. Living with this disease makes everyday tasks much more difficult…Read More

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Epic’s Staff Superstar- Joyce Bounds!

March 2, 2016

Congratulations to our March Epic Connection Staff Superstar, Joyce Bounds! Joyce has been employed with Epic since 2009 and has been making a difference in the lives of her families each day. Joyce is an LVN who has always taken the time to thoroughly explain practices and procedures to patients to ensure there is no uncertainty when she leaves. She has made it her personal mission to help assuage the fear of families with members in difficult circumstances and is always joyful and generous with her time. A patient family said of Joyce, “I wanted to take the time to…Read More

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