A Baby Girl, Ready to Go Home, Is Still in the Hospital 400 Days Later

By Caroline Chen | 

Brooklyn Mallard, 17 months old, spent the holidays surrounded by her Christmas gifts in a Pittsburgh hospital bed. She should have been home. Her doctors cleared her to leave the hospital last March. In Fairfield, Conn., Lorena DeCarlo left her job to get her 9-month-old son Lucas out of the hospital, learning how to change the breathing tube that keeps him alive. Katie Lawrence and her husband waited months before they were able to take their 4-month-old Jaxon out of a Naperville, Ill., facility called Almost Home, but only after Katie quit her job and the couple shelved plans to buy a house.

The stories of these three children share one similarity: The U.S. health-care system has failed them in spectacular fashion even as it has put their parents under severe emotional and financial strain. All for the lack of home-care nurses.