Her name is Trina Ostrander, and at first glance she looks like the nicest person in the world. She’s not bold or flashy, but she is nothing short of remarkable.
Trina has two sons, Nick and Anthony. Nick is two years older than Anthony, but their worlds are so far apart. When Anthony was only four-months old, Trina suspected something was wrong, so she took him to the doctor. The news was not good, but workable in the long-run. They said Anthony was blind. At almost two years old, Anthony began having tremors, and that began a downward spiral of hospitalizations and endless questions with endless answers. It was a trip to the hospital in April of 2002 that Anthony walked in and was unable to walk out. Forever a changed little boy. He had experienced something called “ Epilepticus”, which were crushing seizures leading to brain damage and eventual life support.
Despite hundreds of tests, everything was coming back negative. Now, it was up to Trina and in-home nursing care to set a path of comfort for Anthony. There were many scares and ups and downs for Anthony, but for Trina, she held firm.She knows that her undying love and her ability to stand-up for her son is the reason he is still here today.
Despite the mountain in front of her, Trina continues to advocate for her son on every level. She says one of her darker moments was when her oldest son, Nick, went for a first day of school without her there. To this day she laments over not being able to give him a folder with some paper and a hug and good luck. But is was another time in the hospital for Anthony.
In 2013, Trina called Hospice because she felt as if she was at the end of her rope. Feeling stuck, but not defeated, she learned of a new program through Hospice that would be starting in the fall. The program called Essential Care, would help families with children in these situation with a form of palliative care that could help round out their care.
Anthony has an Essential Care nurse that comes in to assist Trina with medical protocol that could help Anthony to relieve pain or breathing problems, or whatever he needed that specialists couldn’t supply.
Trina says that before Essential Care, she always felt as if she was falling, but when they stepped in….they caught her. Navigating through paperwork and medical diaries and specialists and nurses is just a part of Trina’s day. Essential Care provides a social worker and chaplain and music therapy. Some is for Anthony and some is for Trina.
As for Nick, Trina says at the age of 20 now, he has turned out to be an amazing soul. Nick has the strength and the patience and the kindness and honor that most of us could only wish for in a child.
Determined, strong, loving, kind and full of love is Trina’s personality. She hopes other parents will turn to the Essential Care program at Hospice if they need help.
At the Erie County Fair this year, WECK radio raised money for this amazing program. If you need help, call them at 716-686-8006. They would also appreciate any donations to help this program move forward.
Trina doesn’t look past today. Every day with her two sons is a gift. Like she says, no one ever thinks they can do something like this, but you can. Embrace it with all of your heart and soul!