Stories about: tracheomalacia

More than just a cough: Advocating for Jack

jack plays during an appointment for tracheobronchonmalacia
PHOTOS: MICHAEL GODERRE/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

By the time he was 2 years old, Jack Baker had made some 20 trips to the emergency department and had been hospitalized about 10 times. For much of his young life, the little boy had struggled with a cough that his parents, Katie and Rick, could only describe as a barking, seal-like noise. He was often sick with colds, couldn’t sleep for all the coughing, had shortness of breath and wheezing, and had started developing a blue tinge around his mouth.

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Harper’s bright future after care for esophageal atresia

Harper smiles at her appointment for esophageal atresia
PHOTOS: MICHAEL GODERRE/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

At age 4, Harper Robinson doesn’t really remember most of the clinicians who helped change her life — but that doesn’t stop her from greeting Dr. Russell Jennings with a big smile at a recent appointment. “Whenever Harper had surgery, he would cut her dressings into the shape of a heart,” says her mom, Jessica, of Jennings, surgical director of the Esophageal and Airway Treatment (EAT) Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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Noisy breathing? It could be tracheomalacia

doctor examines boy with tracheomalacia
IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

DJ is at his pediatrician’s office with his third bout of pneumonia this year. Katie wants to play soccer, but gasps for air when she exerts herself. Sarah’s parents have learned CPR because she has stopped breathing so many times. Although these kids appear to have very different problems, they all have one underlying cause: tracheomalacia.

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Andrew’s story: Gold medalist kicks aerodigestive problems

With his asthma under control, Andrew holds the American flag after winning a gold medal
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE WARREN FAMILY

Last November, Andrew Warren stood on the podium in front of the American flag, grinning proudly as the medals around his neck glinted in the light. He had traveled to Orlando, Florida from his home in upstate New York to compete in the Karate and Kickboxing World Championships — and he delivered, taking home both a gold and a silver medal. It was an incredible accomplishment for a teenager once so ill that he made nearly three dozen visits to the emergency department before he was 6 years old.

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