Ashley House primarily functions as a transitional home for children who need a step from acute hospital care to home. They are a nonprofit corporation in good standing with multiple licensures in the state of Washington. Ashley House is licensed as a Children’s Group Home and a Home Health Agency for pediatric private duty nursing care. They manage four sites that are minimally modified family homes providing a very homey atmosphere for both children and their parents.
Ashley house has built a reputation in the community for providing medically intensive care to children in a home setting. Treatment for chronic lung conditions including tracheotomy and ventilator management, central line TPN management as well as dialysis and preparation for organ transplant are some of the areas that they are accomplishing at this time. Several children have been through their program following severe traumatic or anoxic brain injuries as a step from acute hospitalization to inpatient rehabilitation. The program is working with multiple pediatric hospitals and clinics throughout Western Washington.
Denny has been a mentor, teacher, surrogate father and role model for Ashley House children, especially for one child who is a quadriplegic. Denny has consistently been an active participant in this child’s life. Denny has attended school with this child and learned the assistive technology needed for this child to be a productive member of the community. Denny has enabled this child to progress in his schooling, maintain self-esteem and has demonstrated love and encouragement.
Denny addresses the need for inclusion for the disabled. The isolation of disability is great, especially for young children who cannot enjoy the normal physical activities of their peers. These children must depend on others for the majority of activities. Technology replaces physical activity for these youngsters. It provides a way to socialize and acquire skills needed for a productive life. As a small organization and with the shortage of nurses it is difficult to provide the much needed one on one attention these children so desperately need. Denny has played an integral role in filling this need.
Denny’s impact for these children is immense. The ability for these children to complete homework assignments, keep up with studies, advance in socialization skills has been realized due to the time, patience, and diligence Denny has provided. Some of these children are placed at the Ashley House by the state; some of these children see Denny as a surrogate parent. Denny has provided continuity for these children when parents are absent or uninvolved. These children see their caretakers come and go; unfortunately, this is the reality of their lives. Denny is the one constant these children count on.
Denny has inspired all who know him. His commitment has been unwavering. His patience saint like, his energy boundless and his love has been and continues to be unconditional. It is rare for a community to find a volunteer who is tireless and continues to portray the same amount of time, energy, and unwavering love that Denny has displayed for the last nine years. Denny has not sought recognition or thanks, he quietly gives day after day and in fact, would most likely be upset that he has been nominated. The epitome of a volunteer is one who give freely and selflessly never asking for anything in return.