Stories about: Diseases & Conditions

Taking a leap of faith: Jack says goodbye to his G-tube

Jack colors in a coloring book before having his G-tube removed
PHOTOS: SOPHIE FABBRI/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

As they waited for their son Jack’s appointment, Marika and Josh Reuling had no indication that July 17, 2018, would be different from any other day. They chatted, glanced at the cartoons playing in the waiting room and handed Jack crayon after crayon as he happily colored a picture. It seemed like a just another routine check-up with Dr. Rachel Rosen, director of the Aerodigestive Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

But once the Reulings were settled in an exam room and Jack had sampled a variety of foods as part of an evaluation with feeding specialist Kara Larson, Rosen had a surprise for them. “What do you think about taking out Jack’s G-tube today?” she asked.

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Lessons from the Tin Man: Christopher follows his heart

Christopher, who was born with TGA and other heart defects, poses in the rooftop garden at Boston Children's.
PHOTO: SOPHIE FABBRI/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

When it comes to movies, 26-year-old Christopher Smith loves horror films. He counts It FollowsHush and Insidious among his top three. But his favorite movie of all time? The Wizard of Oz.

“I feel pretty connected to the Tin Man,” he says with a laugh.

Like the Tin Man, Smith has spent a lot of time thinking about his heart. Born with a number of complex heart conditions, including transposition of the great arteries (TGA), an atrial septal defect (ASD), a ventricular septal defect (VSD), complete heart block, congestive heart failure and dextrocardia, he’s had multiple surgeries and spent lots of time in the hospital.

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What are the most common symptoms of childhood cancer?

Girl with leukemia visits with doctor
Emma Duffin and Dr. Leslie Lehmann (PHOTO: SAM OGDEN)

Childhood cancers are very rare; in fact, they make up less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed annually. Therefore, there are not any regular screening tests, unless a child has an increased risk due to genetic predisposition. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at some of the common childhood cancer symptoms, and when parents should seek advice from a doctor.

The symptoms of childhood cancer can be difficult to recognize because they often mimic those of typical childhood illnesses, such as the common cold.

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Life-changing second opinion for Jake uncovers rare urological anomaly

Jake plays golf after treatment for anterior urethral valves
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE GRESIS FAMILY

For most kids, going to the doctor ranks right up there with slogging through homework and cleaning their room — they’d rather be doing just about anything else. But 4-year-old Jake Gresis doesn’t mind traveling from his home in Virginia to see Dr. Richard Yu, director of the Robotic Surgery Program in the Department of Urology at Boston Children’s Hospital. “He always looks forward to coming to Boston,” says his mom, Wendy. “He’s well aware of what Dr. Yu has done for him.”

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