Stories about: esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula

Enjoying every day: Renee’s story

renee visits with her grandfather
Renee visits with her grandfather. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SEAVER FAMILY.)

Hitting double digits is a milestone for any kid, but it’s particularly special for Renee Seaver and her family. Once told that their daughter likely wouldn’t survive until age one, her parents recently celebrated Renee’s tenth birthday with her. “Renee is the heart and soul of our family,” says her mother, Michelle. “We enjoy every day we have together.”

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The joy of cooking (and eating) after tracheomalacia

Charlotte was diagnosed with EA/TEF and tracheomalacia as a baby

For most little kids, a trip to the supermarket is an annoying chore, made tolerable only by the opportunity to request sugary snacks as a reward. But when Charlotte McQueen accompanies her mother, Erin, to the store, it’s a journey marked by imagination and delight. “Mom, can we get that?” she asks, pointing to a can of pureed pumpkin. “Oh, and we’ll need marshmallows and we can make chocolate frosting. It will be a great cake!”

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One patient’s story: our baby’s Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula

Brandon at Children's

My husband Brain and I are about to celebrate our 14 year anniversary. A big milestone for any relationship, but after the hardships we’ve lived through in the past few years, it seems extra special. For the first 10 years of our marriage we tried for kids, but it never happened. Eventually we sort of accepted that it wasn’t meant to be and resigned ourselves to a life of sleeping through the night and ample free time. Then, almost out of the blue, I became pregnant. It was such a blessing; we were beside ourselves with joy.

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One family's story: esophageal atresia

Bradley Linden, MD, (far left) and Russell Jennings, MD, (far right) with patient Elliot Cleckler and parents Heather and Jay.
Bradley Linden, MD, (far left) and Russell Jennings, MD, (far right) with patient Elliot Cleckler and parents Heather and Jay.

For expecting parents, learning that their soon to be born baby will enter the world with a birth defect can be very difficult news.  Five weeks before Heather and Jay Cleckler’s son’s due date, he was diagnosed with esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea that can cause food traveling down the esophagus or acid refluxing up from the stomach to pass into the lungs.

Although Jay and Heather were upset, they were still hopeful. You can read more about the lengths they went to in order to fix their son’s birth defect, including traveling to Children’s from their home in California, here.

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