Stories about: Kara Larson

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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Swallowing problems: 4 things to know about dysphagia

swallowing problems

It seems like second nature to most of us, but swallowing is actually an intricate process with multiple stages, from the moment food or liquid passes through your lips until it enters your stomach. If something goes awry at any point in this journey, dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, can be the result.

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