Michael Gately is a sick young man. At 14 years old, he has a disease affecting only a few dozen people in the country. But his illness doesn’t show on Michael’s face or in his smile. In fact, his mother Julie said, “He’s the healthiest looking sick kid you’ll ever see.” The Gatelys give much of the credit for this to their Intermountain Homecare nurse, Dylan Law, RN.
A rare genetic condition causes Michael’s body to constantly react as if it were fighting an infection when none actually exists. At the same time, the condition also makes him susceptible to many ailments. Michael has had to fight off some serious infections such as meningitis and pneumonia. He has undergone more than 35 surgeries. Dylan has been Michael’s nurse for seven years. “When he first came to our home, Dylan walked straight to Michael,” said Julie. “He treated Michael as a kid, not a disease.”
Julie credits Dylan for helping her understand the benefits of replacing the infusion line in Michael’s arm with a chest port for his treatments. This allows Michael to swim, play baseball, and do other things kids his age do. More than providing clinical care, however, Dylan boosts Michael’s morale. Treatments can last up to 10 hours, and during these visits Dylan and Michael play video games, watch movies, and talk about life. “Dylan always goes the extra mile to be there for our son,” said Julie. The Gatelys consider Dylan part of the family.