Curing Kids Stories
Mass. Eye and Ear physicians and scientists work miracles that put kids on paths to thrive every day. These cures, treatments and interventions allow children to grow, communicate, participate and develop.
This is the opportunity - your opportunity - to help children:
Kian’s parents were shocked when he failed newborn hearing screening, but doctors told them not to worry. With no family history of hearing loss, it was likely amniotic fluid in his ears that would resolve on its own. When his mom, Keyette, took Kian for a follow-up appointment, she received the devastating diagnosis that he had severe-to-profound hearing loss. “We decided to get a second opinion and turned to Mass. Eye and Ear for the best care around,” Keyette said. The doctors and audiology team determined that bilateral cochlear implants were the best course of action. Thanks to early detection and treatment, today Kian is a thriving 3 year old, a completely typical toddler who has met all significant milestones on or ahead of schedule.
An aspiring Olympic figure skater, Adrian’s life was tipped off balance when he learned he had keratoconus, a progressive disease that can cause blindness and often results in the need for corneal transplants. In the U.S., keratoconus can be treated at first with glasses or special contact lenses, but as the disease progresses patients run out of options – and there is no cure. His mother, Debra, felt powerless, until she learned about a clinical trial going on at Mass. Eye and Ear. Adrian was the first child treated in this study, and his vision loss has been halted. If study results mirror those in Europe, this procedure could someday become standard treatment, and more people like Adrian will be free to follow their dreams.
Narissa smiles deeply, especially when her father laughs. But she didn’t always have that smile. For her first three years, she lived in a Chinese orphanage. A tumor had been removed from her face, resulting in partial paralysis. Her adoptive family thought she was beautiful and never thought twice about her crooked smile until she was in the first grade. “One of the little boys asked why Narissa didn’t smile right and what was wrong with her face,” her father, Craig, said. Thankfully Narissa came to Mass. Eye and Ear, where Dr. Tessa Hadlock took muscles and a nerve from her leg and placed them in her face in two procedures. Today Narissa lights up with laughter, thanks to her loving parents and a dedicated doctor.
Born prematurely, Seamus was a restless baby with a poor sucking reflex. After frustrating visits with his local pediatrician, his parents brought him to Mass. Eye and Ear where they learned his airway was just two millimeters in diameter, “about the size of a plastic coffee stirrer,” his mother said. Seamus was diagnosed with a rare disease called subglottic stenosis, so severe that everyone was amazed that he had been able to breathe at all. Mass. Eye and Ear physician Dr. Christopher Hartnick performed an emergency tracheotomy on Seamus. Later Dr. Hartnick performed reconstructive surgery to open up Seamus’ airway so he could breathe normally and naturally. Today, Seamus is an active boy who is healthy and happy and loves to play with his big brother.