Stories about: Dr. Reza Rahbar

Making progress: Eli is thriving after laryngeal cleft repair

Elie, who had a laryngeal cleft repair, playing in the hospital waiting room

Eli Bustard is pretty laid back for a 3-year-old — until he sees a picture of a dinosaur. “He’s obsessed,” laughs his mother, Nicole, who reports that Eli has been poring over a library book about these prehistoric beasts. Some of his other favorite pastimes: playing with trucks, caring for his Boston terrier and climbing up and down the musical stairs at Boston Children’s Hospital, which play a cheerful melody with every step.

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Step by step: Sloane’s incredible journey with laryngeal cleft

laryngeal cleft treatment

Like most first graders, Sloane has a jam-packed schedule, filled with fun activities such as dancing, ice skating and playing tennis. But every now and then, this busy girl needs to take a break, even if that simply means taking her time to sip a glass of water. “I remind her that, sometimes, she needs to slow down,” says her mom, Tarra.

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Trusting their instincts: Family finds help for laryngeal cleft

laryngeal cleft treatment

For some kids, the hospital can be a scary place, where even doctors with the best intentions poke, prod and serve up yucky-tasting medication. But for three-year-old Jack Steinberg, a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital is worth the trip from his home in Great Neck, New York. “No, it’s really fun,” Jack’s mother, Jessica, recently overheard him telling his older brother, Henry, who isn’t a fan of doctor visits. “They give you toys and stickers there!”

Jack’s cheerful attitude seems at odds with his recent health challenges. In fact, says his father, Noah, “If you saw him walking down the street, you’d never know anything was wrong with him.”

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A father’s hope for his son’s life

Juan and Fredy pictured in 2017, nearly one year after Fredy's tumor was removed.
Juan and Fredy in 2017.

Juan was looking forward to having his son, Fredy, 14, finally come home to live with him. The teenager had been living under the care of his grandmother since he was a toddler.

But on that long-awaited homecoming day, Juan was quickly jarred from feeling great joy to grave concern.

“When I saw his face, one side looked very different from the other and his lip was swollen,” says Juan. “He admitted right away that his face had been hurting.”

Juan remembered that the last time he’d seen his son — more than one year ago — Fredy’s face had looked slightly different then too. But whatever was happening, the situation had clearly become much worse since then. Something was undeniably very, very wrong.

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