Four-year-old Wyatt’s dream of swimming like other kids came true thanks to the Pediatric Surgery team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. Wyatt was born with Hirschsprung disease, a condition that affects the large intestine and the ability to have normal bowel movements.
As a baby, Wyatt had reconstructive intestinal surgery, known as the pull-through procedure, to help fix the problem. The procedure enabled him to live without a colostomy bag, but soiling remained an issue. For Wyatt, jumping in the pool without a swim pull-up remained out of the question.
“After examining the situation, pediatric surgeon Payam Saadai, M.D., suggested a cecostomy tube using a MIC-KEY button — a port that connects to the intestine to facilitate management of bowel function.
“The cecostomy tube is perfect for select children who need a daily bowel management program. It allows for daily flushes of the large intestine so that kids won’t have any soiling or accidents the remainder of the day. It is more comfortable than traditional enemas and therefore much easier for parents. It also allows older children to be independent in their own care,” said Dr. Saadai.
After thoughtful consideration, Wyatt’s parents decided that surgically inserting the cecostomy tube would be best for Wyatt.
“We thought about it, did research and went for it. Wyatt started swimming lessons, and he is so proud of his ‘Mickey.’ We are finally a pull-up free house,” said Wyatt’s mother Jacqueline, who expressed her appreciation for care provided by the Pediatric Surgery team, including Dr. Saadai, Shinjiro Hirose, M.D., and pediatric nurse practitioner Jennifer Miranda.
Before Wyatt received his cecostomy tube, his mom Jacqueline said, “Our family spent so much time prepping for everything — extra clothes, extra pull-ups, wipes — just so we could leave the house.”
Now, thanks to care provided by Shriners, mom says their life has changed for the better. “Wyatt has freedom, and our family has room to take a deep breath because we know he is healthy.”