My name is Cindy Bissell. I live in Grafton, MA with my husband Richard and our four children. All four children have special needs. Our twins were born 3 1/2 months early on July 28, 1993. Both have special needs due to their premature birth. Aaron was trached shortly after birth due to acquired subglottic stenosis. He was also on O2 for 3 years because of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). He was successfully decannulated in 1997. Aaron's identical twin brother Eric has cerebral palsy. In 2000, we adopted Anthony who has severe cerebral palsy and is the same age as the twins. In 2012, we completed our family when we adopted 5 year old Natasha who also has cerebral palsy.
When Aaron had his tracheostomy, the World Wide Web was fairly new and there were no resources for tracheostomy care. Drawing from my experience caring for Aaron and my many years as an RN, I began posting basic care guidelines and tracheostomy information online (Aaron's Tracheostomy Page: www.tracheostomy.com). I started the site in 1996 and it quickly grew into the Internet's leading tracheostomy website.
Even though Aaron has been decannulated for many years, I have continued to maintain the site and network with families and individuals with tracheostomies from all over the world. I do feel that there is a need to improve the quality of care for patients with tracheostomies and their families. I think that the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative is a step in the right direction and I'm happy to participate as a family advisor.