Curing Kids Stories
Mass. Eye and Ear physicians work miracles that put kids on paths to thrive every day. These cures, treatments a nd interventions allow the kids to grow, communicate, participate and develop.
This is the opportunity - your opportunity - to help children:
Elle had just come into this world when she failed a routine newborn hearing screening. Her parents learned that she had profound hearing loss after she underwent extensive testing at Mass. Eye and Ear. Dr. Daniel Lee and the Audiology team sprang into action immediately to develop a plan to help Elle hear. Her parents and the team decided that bilateral cochlear implants were Elle’s best option. Elle’s surgery went well and her implants were activated two days before she turned one. “Because of having her implanted so young, she has already caught up and is age appropriate with her language – actually, she’s ahead of her typical hearing peers,” Elle’s mom says. “It’s really funny because everyone says ‘What, she has cochlear implants? She talks so much!’ She’s a confident and happy little girl.”
Born prematurely and blind in one eye, Brayden scratched the cornea of his other eye when he was just three months old. He developed a corneal ulcer that threatened to darken his world completely. Mass. Eye and Ear doctors Ula Jurkunas and Reza Dana tried everything to save his vision: corneal transplants and then transplantation of stem cells from Brayden’s good eye to the affected eye. Despite their best efforts, nothing worked, but they would not give up. Ultimately a keratoprosthesis (KPro), a plastic cornea developed at Mass. Eye and Ear, was implanted – and he was able to see well again. “He’s doing amazingly well. It’s life changing,” mom Jessica says. “He sees now, he knows all of his colors, and he’s walking. He just a brand-new child!”
Francisca didn’t sleep well for the first two years of her son’s life. She would listen to her son’s labored breathing and worry. His sleep apnea — periods during sleep
when he would stop breathing altogether — was alarming. He wasn’t able to eat solid food, or speak. Francisca expressed her concerns to the local pediatrician, but her fears were brushed aside. Adekanmi’s issues became so dire he was brought to the emergency room and referred to Dr. Christopher Hartnick at Mass. Eye and Ear. Dr. Hartnick and his team immediately spotted the problem: Adekanmi’s tonsils and adenoids were so swollen they blocked his airway. Dr. Hartnick performed an immediate adenotonsillectomy. Days after the operation, Adekanmi began eating solid food. Soon he was speaking. “Now he sleeps with ease,” Francisca says. “He’s so much happier – and making so much noise!”
Eight month-old Marco was left in an Ecuadorian orphanage. His caretakers hoped that Mass. Eye and Ear’s Operation Airway could help with Marco’s noisy breathing and difficulty eating. When the Operation Airway team met Marco he was undernourished and delayed, weighing as little as a two or three month old. An examination in the operating room revealed a large mass above his vocal folds. A tracheotomy was performed to help Marco breathe and eat. Marco did well: within four days of the operation he could drink from a bottle without difficulty. Marco’s team performed an imaging study in Ecuador, which was reviewed by radiologists at Mass. Eye and Ear. The team worked with Ecuadorian colleagues to coordinate his future care. Marco will now be able to gain weight and develop like a healthy infant.