At birth, Katie was diagnosed with Laryngeal Cleft Type IV, the most severe type of a rare opening between her larynx and esophagus that causes life-threatening respiratory and feeding issues.
Over her first six years, she had scores of surgeries to reconstruct her trachea and esophagus. Then her tracheostomy tube was removed that was helping her breathe. This was a special day for Katie and her family. It was a milestone they weren’t sure would ever happen and it meant freedom from machines for Katie, giving her the opportunity to participate in normal childhood experiences like swimming.
Katie continued to have a few more surgeries and is now closely monitored by an incredible multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals at IWK Health including ear, nose, and throat (ENT), respirology, orthopedics, physiotherapy, nephrology, a dietician, and a pediatrician – with all playing a very important role helping Katie to rehabilitate and move forward. Katie has been a lot healthier as she’s gotten older, but her family still views her team as their lifeline. They are always there to provide guidance and reassurance as Katie continues to thrive.
Meanwhile, Katie is doing all that she loves to do – going to school, being with friends, dancing, riding her bike, listening to music, playing with her dog Shadow, doing crafts – and being the lovable and energetic kid that she is.
It took highly effective surgical technologies and a team of expertly skilled healthcare professionals to treat and care for Katie. Thanks to your support through foundations such as the IWK Foundation, Katie, and kids just like her, are getting the innovative care they need so they can eat, breathe, and live life to its fullest.
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