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| March 5, 2015

Sometimes the benefit of a Healthe Kids Screening is the reassurance that an extra set of eyes is checking to make sure your child is okay. Sometimes it’s the little push needed to follow up on a known health issue. And sometimes, when finances are tight and health care is unattainable, it’s the connection with First Hand and the knowledge that the teams will work together to get your child the care he needs. For six-year-old Ahiah and his family, it was all three.

Even before his Healthe Kids Screening, Ahiah’s mom, Amber, wondered if her son needed glasses. She had been noticing vision problems at home and Ahiah had recently complained about not being able to see the board at school. The letter from Healthe Kids—documenting a vision referral—confirmed her suspicions.

So Amber took Ahiah to an optometrist, who commented, “No wonder he can’t see!” during the follow-up evaluation. Ahiah soon received the glasses he needed to excel in school.

“Ahiah had tuned out and started getting really frustrated in school. He stopped trying as hard as he could because he couldn’t really see what he was doing,” confided Amber. “Getting glasses actually changed him a lot. Ahiah was able to see the board better so he started participating a little more in school. When we did homework, he could see it better so it wasn’t as frustrating for him.”

Though the glasses worked wonders, they only lasted six months before they were broken. Medicaid only covered one pair of eyeglasses annually and Amber—struggling to put herself through school while raising four children—had no way to pay for replacements.

Knowing the situation, Ahiah’s school nurse stepped in. She worked with the Healthe Kids team and the First Hand Foundation to apply for funding on Ahiah’s behalf. First Hand soon provided two new sets of glasses for Ahiah—one for home and one for school.

“I was really appreciative of the help,” said Amber. “It was really great because he was able to get the glasses he needed and have a back-up pair in case the first ones got lost or broken, which can happen pretty quickly.”

Given her experience, Amber would recommend Healthe Kids to any parent.

“All four of my kids have been screened by Healthe Kids. I sign them up because I really like to make sure everything’s okay with them. You never know—things could happen, you could miss things, the doctor could miss things. Healthe Kids gives you tidbits of information that could be really helpful.”

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