March 16, 2023
Meet Ja’Shawn! He is a nine-year old boy who loves playing football, wrestling with his two older brothers, and going fishing with his dad. He loves special evenings going to KFC to get a Macaroni bowl after his mom finishes her shift of work there. Ja’Shawn lives with his father, two brothers, aunt and grandmother in a two-bedroom 800 square foot house in the city. He is bright, happy, creative and a real jokester.
Healthy Learners met Ja’Shawn through a referral from the school nurse. He was struggling to focus on school due to tooth pain. From his initial visit, it was discovered that he had five cavities. Three of his teeth with the cavities were rotting and needed to be extracted, and the two others needed fillings.
Getting Ja’Shawn to the dentist and getting the work needed would not be easy. His father was legally blind, suffering from a degenerative eye disease, and his mother’s work schedule was challenging to coordinate with. They also were struggling to make ends meet for their family and needed help.
Healthy Learners met with Ja’Shawn’s dad and helped him in retrieving Medicaid ID numbers from different states for all three of his sons, then coordinated with a partner dental provider to get Ja’Shawn and his two other brothers scheduled to see a dentist. Healthy Learners transported the boys from school, picked up their dad to join, and made sure everything was set for Ja’Shawn and his brothers to receive care.
Ja’Shawn got the three rotten teeth “wiggled out” by the dentist and is scheduled to have his fillings later. By November, his treatment will be completed.
Ja’Shawn is just one of thousands of children in our state struggling with a health barrier to learning. Would you consider a providing a gift to help another child on his journey to a brighter future without health barriers to learning?