Working At Cedarcrest Center Is Inspiring, Not Sad Says Veteran Nurse

Before Matt Governor began working at Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities he was in the restaurant business. He wanted to make a life altering change, and he did.

“People always say ‘God bless you to work there because it is so sad,” says Matt, now an LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant). “But no, it’s not! It’s rewarding and inspiring.”
LNA Matt Governor interacts with a resident
at Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities
The Cedarcrest Center in Keene, NH is a specialized pediatric medical facility and school providing comprehensive services to children with complex medical and developmental needs; 90 staffers meet the needs of 26 residents from infants through age 21, and provide outpatient services for individuals age three through young adults.

Matt takes care of the children’s daily needs after school. He freshens them up for the afternoon, monitors their health, and manages oxygen and feeding tubes. He also accompanies them on medical visits and field trips and interacts often to know each individual’s personality and communication style.

“I can see kids moving forward every day,” said Matt, who moved to New Hampshire to spend more time with his own family. He finds it deeply fulfilling to wean a child off a tracheostomy or feeding tube, to make them laugh or stabilize their conditions enough to go home. He is currently Cedarcrest’s only male LNA so he tries to be a role model for the boys, too.

When Matt was younger, he worked at a summer program for kids with Down Syndrome, and felt a connection. He felt pulled toward children with special needs. When he began raising his own kids and coached sports, families whose children had seizure disorders or behavioral problems sensed this and gravitated to his teams.

“Working with these children is a challenge but I think of them as regular children with some added bells and whistles,” says Matt. Although most of his patients cannot verbalize or move independently, he “gets” them.

Caring for medically complex children has helped Matt appreciate his six wonderful children, ages 15 to 27. One of the things he likes about his job is that it relieves mothers and fathers of the medical caretaker role “so they can stand back and become parents again,” he explained.

Being an LNA has also clarified Matt’s own goals. After 11 years in what he intended to be an interim job, he plans to return to school to become a respiratory therapist for children.

To learn more about The Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities visit www.cedarcrest4kids.org.