I am the mother of a special needs child. My daughter, Tessa, passed away May 15th, 1999. She had profound special needs due to a placenta abruption I experienced when I was 39 ½ weeks (full-term) pregnant. Tessa was not breathing at birth and after 17 minutes of resuscitation, the Pediatrician called for time of death, at which time he told me she took a huge gasp. The Pediatrician told me later that he had never experienced anything like this and she must be here for a very good reason. But I was also told she would have a short life due her health complications.
When Tessa was about 5 years old, I started to receive Nursing respite care approximately 15 hours a week. At that time, I also had a 16 month old and was expecting my third child. Respite care was lifesaving to my family, as Tessa needed 24-hour care. The agency that provided her care was for sale. As crazy as it sounds, we purchased it. I always tell people that never in my wildest dreams did I think this is where my career path would go! I just felt that this care was so important and I had met many families with special needs children. I knew that one less agency providing this type of care would be detrimental to them.
Family Care Solutions (FCS) began February 1, 1999, just 3 ½ months prior to losing Tessa. After Tessa’s passing, I have come to believe that this was meant to be. I know what it is like to be a caregiver in need of help and trying to make it through the days that can seem overwhelming. My heart has felt the heartbreak of wanting my child to achieve what other children could, but I have also known the joy of her love without limitations and her laughter was the sound of her soul dancing.
I do feel this is my calling and bringing help and hope to other families is a legacy to my daughter Tessa. I thank you all that share in this profession and are part of the FCS team. You are truly lifesavers to so many. I know that you may not be thanked enough for what you provide to your clients and patients.
This is FCS’s 3rd move. Our first location was in the lower part of the Hand-in- Hand building. For those of you who do not know, I am a Founder of Hand-in- Hand and the actual building is named “Tessa’s Place”. We moved there and paid rent to Hand-in- Hand to help them stay afloat in the early years. Once their building was paid for FCS moved to our former location on Devils Glen Road.
Part of our plan at FCS was to move to this new location as another phase of growth. We have a plan and hope of building another space next door that would provide a community center where we could provide cooking classes, dances, movies, and other activities for our elderly and special needs population. Our goal is to continue to grow and add to what we provide currently and by doing so adding benefits to our staff, in gratitude of all they do for our clients and patients.
-Joanie Steil, Administrator
Family Care Solutions is a locally owned home health care provider, based in Davenport, Iowa. Our Medicare/Medicaid and HCBS Waiver Certified agency provides the highest level of care and supports for children, adults, and their families. We strive to enhance the quality of life without the stress of interrupted routines and changes in daily habits.