Roseville Boy’s Story Rings True for Many Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs

Sometimes a story can help make data seem more real – and that’s certainly the case with Justin Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy from Roseville, CA, who has been afflicted with dilated cardiomyopathy, or an abnormally enlarged heart, since he was eight months old. Justin now awaits a new heart transplant at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. His battle and that of his mother, Katie Caldwell, echoes that of many families who have experienced the economic and emotional stress of having a child with a special health care need.

While Justin is on standby for a heart transplant in Palo Alto, his mother remains at his side and has been unable to work at her job in Roseville. Unfortunately, the financial insecurity that Justin’s family is undergoing now is not uncommon for families of children with special healthcare needs.

2005-2006 data on the impact of a child’s special health care needs on parental employment shows that 24% of California parents of children with special health care needs had to cut back or stop working to care for their child. Similarly, 2007 data show that a higher percentage of parents of children with special health care needs report stress as a result of parenting (27%) than parents of children without special needs’ (13%).

See more about how special healthcare needs impact families in California >>


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