Name: Joe Cram, RRT-NPS, Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist
Years as respiratory therapist at Children’s: 22
Area of expertise: Cardiac ICU
Hobbies: family, golf, travel
Why respiratory therapy:
My oldest daughter was born with a chronic lung disease, Cystic Fibrosis. Becoming a respiratory therapist was my way of helping my daughter and coping with her disease.
Best feeling in the world:
There is no better feeling than knowing you were part of a patient’s healing process and seeing them go home feeling better than when they arrived.
Connecting with Kenedi:
I was one of a number of respiratory therapists who treated Kenedi Groves when she first came to Children’s as an infant. Over the years, she had several heart surgeries, completed over various stages. She returned recently for more surgeries and has been at Children’s for the past 12 weeks. When you see some of these patients day after day for weeks, you can’t help but to connect with them and their families on a deeper level. Of course, now that Kenedi is a little older, we are getting to see her spark-plug personality. We all enjoy that – it brings levity to an otherwise very serious atmosphere.
Genuine empathy for families:
Since my own family and I have faced the challenges associated with caring for a chronically ill child, I have empathy for these families. It makes me a stronger respiratory therapist; I understand the stakes and take my job very seriously. All too often, it is a fight for survival for these children. Sadly, my wife and I lost our daughter to Cystic Fibrosis 3 1/2 years ago. Losing a child is a tragedy and heartache that no parent should have to endure. I stand alongside my professional counterparts at Children’s in my commitment to do anything within my power to help prevent another family from experiencing that loss. That is the true reward for a job well done, and it demonstrates how Children’s treats not just the children, but also the families.
Passion for children:
The great outcomes – those I have seen, and especially those I may have contributed to in some small way – motivate me. There have absolutely been children that defied all odds, all logic and even science to recover from their illness. When that happens, I am thankful to have had a front row seat to a miracle.