BENEFITING: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
ORGANIZER: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
EVENT: 2016 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 18, 2016
Mileage Tracker: 70
“You are going to run 26.2 miles?! Why on earth would you want to do that?”
I am honored to run with a team that changes lives of children all over the world. Training to run 26.2 miles is easy compared to the struggles some children are born with. Team Eye and Ear’s “Operation Airway”has a mission to independently perform “surgical procedures to restore and rebuild children’s airways so that they can be free of tracheostomy tubes and can breathe, speak, and swallow on their own”. They also aim to educate doctors and other healthcare professionals to treat children.
I live by the motto “Mind over Matter”. We can do just about anything we want if we put our mind to it. However, there are circumstances that require the support of others. I was paired with a 15 month old boy, Ryan, who got the opportunity to live a healthy and normal life thanks to the support of the Airway Team. Ryan’s mother carried twin boys, had a normal pregnancy and they arrived full term. Eager to enter the world, Ryan’s mother underwent an emergency C-section. During this time Ryan’s nose was flattened, which ended up masking the severity of his airway issue. Ryan’s mother felt his breathing didn’t sound right but was told “newborns are forced nose breathers”.One month later, Ryan’s breathing dramatically took a turn for the worse, and his parents began to hear him have inspiratory stridor.( Please go to this link to hear what inspiratory stridor sounds like (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMKxnyPs7K8) In order to seek a second opinion, Ryan and his parents were introduced to Dr. Hartnick and his team. They did an in office scope and discovered that he had severe laryngomalacia, meaning his larnyx was very floppy making it difficult for him to pass air.
Due to the severity of Ryan’s situation his parents needed to make a difficult but quick decision to allow the Airway Team to perform surgery. Ryan was to go under a procedure called a supraglottoplasty, a procedure to trim back epiglottis but when they went to perform this procedure it was found that his condition was more severe than originally thought. His epiglottis was fused over his larnyx and he was not intubateable. His airway was so tiny that even a cold would have been enough to cause him to stop breathing. On further exploration they found that he also had trachealmalacia meaning the rings in his trachea were underdeveloped and floppy causing his airway to collapse. Ryan’s best option was to receive a tracheostomy until such time that his airway grew and hardened. For several months Ryan breathed from his tracheostomy tube. At the age of 9 months his airway grew to a point where he could be safely intubated from above. Two hundred twenty two days after his first surgery Ryan underwent a Laryngotracheal Reconstruction (LTR) — Single-Staged Repair, using part of his thyroid cartilage to stent open his trachea. Ryan was able to grow and thrive both with his trach and after it was removed because of the remarkable efforts of Mass Eye and Ear’s Airway Team.
I am running and raising money for this amazing cause to make a difference in the lives of children like Ryan.
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary wrote -
Massachusetts Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck.
Each year almost 300,000 people - adults and children - from more than 80 countries seek care at Mass. Eye and Ear and more than 20,000 of them undergo life-changing surgery.
Mass. Eye and Ear is home to the world's largest vision and hearing research centers, offering hope and healing to patients everywhere through discovery and innovation. As a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, Mass. Eye and Ear trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology through our highly competitive residency and fellowship programs.
Mass. Eye and Ear is ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.