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Meet Cailinn, age 8, from Hales Corners, Wisconsin

Cailinn Lynch was born with two large holes in her heart. While those holes were successfully closed when she was only 4 months old, Cailinn’s care continues to be coordinated through Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Special Needs Program because her complex medical condition requires her to see 23 different specialists.

Recently, the family learned that Cailinn has a new heart condition, and is waiting to learn next steps. In addition to her heart specialist, Cailinn and her family are continually working with their special needs coordinator, ear, nose and throat physician, craniofacial surgeon and dentist to determine when and how to address the airway challenges related to her smaller facial features.

Despite all her health challenges, Cailinn is doing great! She is very excited to be back in school for second grade and enjoys the social interaction with the staff and her peers at Hales Corners Elementary. Cailinn spent this past summer diligently working in applied behavior analysis therapy to improve skills like feeding herself. It was hard work, but she was a rock star and continues to improve her self-feeding skills every day. As a result, she was able to have her feeding tube removed, which she has had since she was 2 months old. For the first time since the day she was born, Cailinn is completely “accessory-free.” No more feeding tube, tracheostomy tube, oxygen or mediport.

In 2015, Cailinn and her parents, Kelly and Brian, represented Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Washington, D.C., at meetings with federal lawmakers as part of Children Hospital Association’s Family Advocacy Day in partnership with Speak Now for Kids.

“Cailinn’s Medicaid insurance is crucial,” said Kelly. “It’s an important safety net for families like ours with children with complex medical conditions. Without Medicaid, our family would have needed to move in with other family members, and would have required other government-funded assistance. Cailinn is an amazing girl who is being given a chance to show the world what she can do.”

Please keep Medicaid strong for kids like Cailinn!