Age: 5
Hometown: Swift Current
Condition: Laryngeal Cleft

When Jack was born, he struggled with coughing and choking while laying on his back and while nursing. Jack was initially treated for acid reflux and later his concerned mother, Lindsay, was referred by their family physician to see a Speech Language Pathologist where he was referred to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital for a modified barium swallow (MBS). Traveling from Swift Current, SK to Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH) just before his second birthday, Jack and his family embarked on a journey to seek answers. It was during this pivotal appointment that Jack’s condition was diagnosed as a Laryngeal Cleft.

“You don’t expect it is something you are going to have to deal with as a parent, but it was a relief knowing we had an answer for why Jack would aspirate, and we had an action plan to go forward,” said Lindsay, Jack’s mom. “We really just trusted our medical team to point us in the right direction. It was a lot of different emotions that we dealt with for sure,” Lindsay continued.

The following year was filled with numerous visits to JPCH for various tests and medical consultations. To manage his condition, Jack was prescribed thickened liquids, which proved instrumental in preventing aspiration and consistent choking episodes. At the age of three, Jack underwent corrective surgery for his cleft, requiring him to have a two-night stay at JPCH. Throughout this challenging period, Jack’s family expressed immense gratitude for the accessibility of a nearby children’s hospital and commended the exceptional care provided by the dedicated staff at JPCH, whose compassion and expertise helped ease their discomfort during a trying time.

“Nobody wants to have to take their child to the hospital but it makes such a difference knowing that there’s a place so close to home in Saskatchewan. Our appointments were always on time, the staff and volunteers were always warm, understanding and kind, and they always helped to keep us at ease.”

Today, Jack is a thriving five-year-old who no longer deals with aspiration or choking caused by his Laryngeal Cleft. Through a combination of surgery, rehab and growth he made a full recovery and no longer requires MBS tests or consults with his Pediatric ENT. He is a happy little boy, full of energy and loves to play sports, especially hockey and golf!

Donate to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation to help kids like Jack!

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