Scarlett is now almost two years old. This is her second trip to Evansville for the St Mary’s Feeding Clinic. She was born in Columbus, OH and spent her first 116 days in Nationwide Children's Hospital. She had four surgeries with the first being just hours after delivery. Scarlett had a congenital birth defect called Esophageal Atresia – her esophagus was not connected to her stomach. Her vocal cords were paralyzed thus requiring a tracheotomy and she had Intrauterine Growth Restriction – only weighing in just over four pounds with a term pregnancy.
Scarlett spent many months not being able to eat while her esophagus healed. Her stomach was pulled upright to attach it to her upper esophagus in surgery which in addition to her hiatal hernia caused bad reflux. When she was finally medically ready to try eating she had lost the instinct to know how to eat. She had to get a surgically placed feeding tube just to get her daily nutrients. We worked diligently for her first 1 ½ years with OT, Speech, Outpatient Feeding Clinics and in home therapies. Nothing we tried worked. She was finally referred to St Mary’s Feeding Clinic for help.
Scarlett now knows how to open her mouth & swallow her food without spitting or choking. Simple tasks we take for granted every day. She can now take over 7 ounces of pureed table foods and is working on solid food. She gets excited to go to feeding clinic and even more excited to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. When we learned we were coming back to the RMH we started showing her pictures and videos of our previous stay. She remembered the tall giraffe and large stuffed lions as well as the playroom dollhouse. She gets super excited about the playground and meeting other kids at the house.
Being away from home with a medically fragile child is never easy, but the RMH and its staff make the transition as seamless as possible. The volunteers are amazing and so friendly. There is not a person there that will not bend over backwards to help you with anything. The local families and groups that bring in meals make it so much easier to not worry about those household chores…plus the meals are delicious! At the RMH they understand the stress related to medially ill children and simply traveling away from home. They help you to be able to focus on your child and making them better. Thank you!
The Nash Family – Rob, Amanda & Scarlett