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Our family supports the settlement agreement between Virginia and the Department of Justice ["Choosing care," May 1].
Our daughter, who is considered medically fragile due to her physical and extensive medical disabilities, has always lived with us, and it is unthinkable to us that she would ever grow up anywhere but with our family.
Kaitlyn, now 24 years old, has benefited from inclusion from birth. Early intervention programs, therapy, and medical support from a team of doctors all teach the parent to care for the child and support the belief that quality of life is best achieved integrated with society.
Kaitlyn is a nonverbal, non-ambulatory, fragile young lady 50 inches tall and weighing 40 pounds who requires daily respiratory treatments and catheterization. She is not able to speak or move her body.
Kaitlyn understands everything said to her. She loves people and driving her motorized wheelchair.
In spite of Kaitlyn's fragile health and the need for constant care by people and technology, our family is well supported by the availability of 24-hour, on-call medical care.
If we are planning to go on a vacation, they assist us with how to manage the equipment and her treatments.
Our society has developed the infrastructure that can support individuals who are at high medical risk. Churches and public and private organizations all have social and worship supports designed for people with disabilities in the community.
The settlement agreement is desperately needed for the many improvements it will bring for people already on Medicaid waivers, but also the 4,170 new waivers for the 7,000 people waiting.
We are sympathetic to those currently in state institutions; however, under the Medicaid ID waiver those people will still receive the services they need in the community just as others in the community do.
Dan and Sue Cramer