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Pandemic adds fears to families needing special medical care

'Hospitals are taking the right steps,' doctor says
Aiden Candales, cancer patient from Loxahatchee
Posted at 4:18 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 17:49:07-05

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. — Children with special medical needs may need to get treatments at a hospital, and the pandemic adds to the level of anxiety for some parents.

Aiden Candales, 12, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.


"He was diagnosed with (acute lymphoma leukemia). After our diagnosis, we were here for six months -- in and out of the hospital," said Aiden's mother, Barbara Candales.

When the pandemic started, parents like Aidan's mother faced the difficult decision of how to safely have their kids get treatments without getting COVID-19.

Barbara Candales, son fighting cancer
Barbara Candales said earlier this year she feared her son would not be able to get the cancer treatment he needed during the pandemic.

"I was really scared of him contracting the virus. [I wondered], 'Are we still going to be able to come into Palms West Hospital to get the treatments that we absolutely need for him to survive?'" Candales said.

Dr. Melissa Singer put Candales' fears to rest.

Dr. Melissa Singer
Dr. Melissa Singer says medical professionals have helped educate the public about the safety procedures in place at hospitals because of the pandemic.

"We really try to do a lot of education about how the hospitals are taking the right steps to do temperature checks. There's a lot of things in place so that there aren't crowds of patients waiting. And over time, a lot of the parents who were reluctant have gotten better because they understand that the hospitals are doing the right thing," Singer said.

The doctor said it's not just about the kids with medical needs, but all patients, their families and the people they come in contact with.

"I hope people keep the due diligence, really keep the standards that we should be doing to try to decrease the spread," Singer said.