Jennifer had a type 1 laryngeal cleft that was diagnosed in Feb 2008 at Children’s Hospital Boston. This is basically an anatomical abnormality in the larynx that allows food and/or liquids to enter the windpipe when they are swallowed. For Jennifer the problem was with liquids. After failing several swallow studies she was on honey thickened liquids.
Her surgery was done endoscopically (through her mouth) on July 14, 2008 by Dr. Reza Rahbar. He is a wonderful man and will always have a special place in our hearts. She stayed one night in the PICU to make sure that she didn’t have any airway problems immediately or in the first 24 hours post-op. Here is a picture of her in the ICU just after she woke up:
and another picture of her PICU room:
She had no complications post-op and was eating several hours after surgery!!! The following day she was moved to a regular medical floor for one more night. She was so happy to get there as she was quite tired of being confined to the PICU bed. On the floor she was allowed to go to the playroom to make crafts and walk around etc. A couple more pics:
Finally on going home day she was given a bit more freedom and was allowed to venture outside to the garden they have there. That is one of her favorite places in that hospital along with the bubble area. Here are some pics of those areas:
After being discharged she insisted on going back out to the garden to eat lunch. There she got to have a visit with the clowns which she loved:
She has since had a post op visit where Dr Rahbar scoped her throat to look at the stitches and said her healing looked great. From here starts the journey of weaning her thickened fluids. For more of her day to day story during the actual surgery you can visit her caring bridge site too.