In February, 2019 Cooper became the first child born without an airway and larynx, who underwent successful reconstruction of the larynx. The surgery was in the hospital Le Bonheur (tn). Otolaryngologist Jerome Thompson used rib cartilage to recreate missing the boy’s body.
The accident that changed everything
At the 16th week of pregnancy Brooke Kilburn was in a car accident. Considerably frightened, but almost uninjured, she still decided to go for an ultrasound to make sure baby was doing OK.
The doctor noticed strange deviations in the fetus, which, in his own words, had not previously encountered. Spouses told to prepare for the worst.
Cooper accumulated fluid in the chest due to the lack of the respiratory tract and pharynx: outside of the uterus he could not breathe on his own. Liquid already began to squeeze the heart, and if not for this accident, and Brooke wouldn’t do an ultrasound, soon would’ve been too late. Parents likely would have lost little Cooper even before birth.
But even now the probability that he is born live, was only 5%.
Never give up
The parents were determined. They were going to do everything possible to save the life of Cooper. At the clinic in St. Louis doctor has been able utero to drain the excess fluid from the chest cavity of a baby, to ease the pressure on the heart, but that’s all. Nothing more they could offer and advised the expectant mother to go to the clinic, Le Bonheur in Memphis.
Dr. Thompson was the only hope of his parents. He has developed a birth plan and subsequent operations up to transfer the baby to the neonatology. Brooks had incomplete C-section. Cooper drained the fluid out of the chest in utero, had a tracheostomy and then was removed from the womb.
He remained in intensive care for a long day 324: toddler bravely fought for life and won. But it was only the first victory. The family Kilburn had a long road to recovery.
The Kilburns turned to Le Bonheur hoping their son Cooper’s 5 % chance of survival would be enough. Our team has been with Cooper since before day one. And now, after two years without making a sound, Cooper has a chance to find his voice.
— LeBonheurChildren's (@LeBonheurChild) August 5, 2019
He needs to talk and breathe
Tracheostomy tube was not only the salvation of Cooper but also a constant danger. If it is clogged or the fan is stalled at night, the boy would have died. The kid was breathing, but could not speak, and his condition worsened.
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After 2 years and 8 months, Cooper returned to the hospital Le Bonheur, because Dr. Jerome Thompson was ready to give the baby a voice and a chance to breathe without the tube.
Surgeons have performed incredible, unique operation. Of the two cartilage ribs of the boy they reconstructed him from the rear and front walls of the larynx to recreate the anatomical airway, to save Cooper from the tracheostomy tube and give the magic an opportunity to speak. This procedure they were planning from the day the baby is born — and to succeed, it worked on a huge team of specialists.
Two surgeons — Dr. Thompson and the peds surgeon In Zhuge carried out the operation for 4 hours. Zhuge removed the boy’s two cartilage ribs, and while he sewed her back up, Thompson has shaped the future of the wall of the larynx. Then Thompson with a colleague, otolaryngologist Jennifer Malawi, recreated the respiratory tract Cooper and installed a wall of the larynx from the cartilage of the ribs.
The operation ended with the introduction of the stent, which kept all together. Then doctors and parents spent six weeks in a painful hold and is not confident that, after you remove the stent, Cooper will be able to breathe on his own.
“We snatched victory from the jaws of defeat”
Implanted rib all this time overgrown by fibrous tissue, which was to allow the structure to stay after the removal of the stent. And now, after six weeks, Cooper removed the stent and held the thin thread to his nose. The lead swayed and that meant that the baby is breathing his new larynx.
The boy still have a long treatment and the surgery that will restore the epiglottis, but now he can breathe for himself. A few weeks after the surgery, his mother heard the first sound: the voice of his son, who laughed along with the happy mother.
Dr. Thompson told reporters that his team “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat“. Revolutionary surgery gave the boy a chance at a full life. Thompson is confident that the baby will be able all kids do at his age.
“We don’t know how to thank Dr. Thompson and the hospital Le Bonheur for what they have done for Cooper. — told Brooke He saved our son’s life and given voice, which we had not even dreamed of.”
The boy from Tennessee can talk and breathe thanks to the innovative surgery doctor of Memphis updated on: August 6, 2019 author: Anastasia Belskaya