Meet Lizzy: 2022 Family Advocacy Day Champion

Lizzy is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 12-14. Through this event, Lizzy and her family will discuss her health journey, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital/BayCare Kids’ role in providing her with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like Lizzy.

When Lizzy was 7, she started exhibiting issues with impulse control and oppositional behaviors before she was diagnosed with ADHD and depression. After several physical altercations in school and other unintentional dangerous behaviors, she started treatment.

“The incidents at school really opened our eyes to things Lizzy had probably been experiencing for some time,” says Andrea, Lizzy’s mother. “It was actually a blessing because we were able to identify the diagnosis while she was still young and quickly begin medical treatment that could help her.”

As Lizzy got older, she experienced more intense episodes of depression, and after a significantly tough incident, she was briefly admitted to an in-patient treatment center. The medications along with the support of her counselor, have allowed Lizzy to better manage her ADHD and depression. Recently, Lizzy started having seizures and seeing a pediatric neurologist to determine the exact cause.

“The pandemic was tough and required us to stay home for an extended period of time,” says Andrea. “Reintegrating back into activities and in-person events has caused increased anxiety for Lizzy, but we continue to move forward understanding that there is an adjustment period as things return to normal."  

Lizzy continues to meet with her counselor through telehealth visits. These visits help Lizzy cope with her “if-then” processes as well as help her better understand and navigate social situations she encounters in everyday life. 

Now 17 years old, Lizzy is doing much better and takes things one day at a time. She likes hanging out with her friends and visiting Disney World. As a BayCare Kid, Lizzy is grateful for the care she has received at Winter Haven Hospital Center for Behavioral Health and how it’s allowed her to feel comfortable and cope with her feelings.

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