Yonkers center for children with complex medical needs wants to open facility for young adults

YONKERS, Westchester County -- Tonyka Overby was a cheerful child when an asthma attack left her with brain damage and limited mobility.

Children with severe injuries and impairment like Tonyka and those born with complex illnesses are given care and stimulation at Elizabeth Seton Children's in Yonkers.

There is school, play, and treatments like hydrotherapy.

But once they turn 21, they are forced to move out of children's facilities and that, according to Elizabeth Seton CEO Pat Tursi, is problematic.

"There really is no place that would have the long-term care services our children would require," she said.

That's why Tursi wants to raise $45 million to build one specifically for young adults.

This type of center could help alleviate Tonyka's father's fears about his daughter's future.

"That's one of my biggest fears (is that) she'll be put in a nursing home with much older people, and the care for the nursing home is different than children's hospital," he said.

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