Stories about: esophageal atresia

Meet Ryan: The boy who grew his own esophagus

Dr. Rusty Jennings, Ryan Page, Dr. John Foker
Dr. Rusty Jennings, Ryan Page, Dr. John Foker

Eleven-year-old Ryan Page is a budding trombone player whose favorite foods include candy, popcorn and hot dogs. “Ryan loves any choking hazard,” jokes his mother Tracy.

When Ryan was born, few would have predicted he would be able tolerate these foods or master the trombone. “His doctors told us he had the longest gap they had ever seen in a baby with esophageal atresia,” recalls Tracy. Ryan was born with a nearly 4-inch gap between the top and bottom parts of his esophagus.

“This is a kid whose predestination based on standard therapy was chronic aspiration (breathing food, liquid or vomit into the airway), chronic lung disease and multiple operations throughout his life. Instead, he’s a normal kid. That’s the miracle of the Foker process,” says Dr. Rusty Jennings, director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Esophageal Atresia Treatment Center.

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This week on Thrive: April 12-16

Here’s a quick look at what Thrive was up to this week.

Children’s researchers found that in many cases kids with egg allergies could receive flu vaccinations made from egg embryos, and that performing a skin test prior to vaccination may not be necessary.

Claire McCarthy, MD, shared her thoughts on bullying and why so many adults fail to recognize the signs that bullying is taking place.

Susan Rudders, MD, talked about her research which found that one EpiPen may not have enough of a dosage to help a child in an anaphylactic shock as a result of a food allergy.

A recent outbreak of measles in Vancouver, as well as newly released study on a 2008 outbreak in the San Diego area, are raising questions about intentionally unvaccinated children and the potential health threat and costs they could pose to the public. Ronald Samuels, MD, MPH talked to Thrive about the dangers of unvaccination as well as common misconceptions about vaccination.

Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten recently won a Pulitzer Prize for an article he wrote on parents who accidentally left their kids in their cars—with fatal results.

Read one family’s story about traveling from California to Children’s Hospital Boston, so their baby, who was born with esophageal atresia, could receive special treatment.

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