Erick C. is an 8 year old boy from Mitad del Mundo, a city north of Quito. Erick was in a coma and was intubated for 15 days in 2007 after he had a complication from a routine surgery. The prolonged intubation damaged his airway and necessitated a tracheotomy.
To get to the Hospital de los Valles, he and his family traveled for 2.5 hours by bus. A taxi ride would have lasted only 1 hour but the expense was not affordable for the family. Erick’s father works as a housing contractor and the family relies on the public healthcare system for treatment. There are currently no doctors trained in Ecuador to carry out the surgery Erick needed so that his tracheotomy could be removed.
Operation Airway- Erick's Story from Mass. Eye and Ear on Vimeo.
Erick underwent a single staged laryngotracheal reconstruction by our team. Erick remained in the intensive care unit for one week. His breathing tube was removed 6 days after his surgery and his recovery was similar to patients operated on in the United States. Erick’s surgery and perioperative care highlighted the coordinated team approach necessary to help these children. Our pediatric intensivists were able to collaborate with our Ecuadorian intensivist colleagues who had never managed a patient such as Erick previously. The team approach to these patients is critical and our pediatric intensive care physicians were able to teach and set a model for the delicate post-operative care of airway reconstruction patients.
Operation Airway- Erick's Story part 2 from Mass. Eye and Ear on Vimeo.
Erick going home at the end of the week with his dad and without his tracheotomy tube. He is breathing all by himself, for the first time in a long time.
Erick, 1 year later, now able to walk and run without difficulty and able to speak with a clear, strong voice.
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